Functional characterization of a constitutively active kinase variant of Arabidopsis phototropin 1.
ABSTRACT: Phototropins (phots) are plasma membrane-associated serine/threonine kinases that coordinate a range of processes linked to optimizing photosynthetic efficiency in plants. These photoreceptors contain two light-, oxygen-, or voltage-sensing (LOV) domains within their N terminus, with each binding one molecule of flavin mononucleotide as a UV/blue light-absorbing chromophore. Although phots contain two LOV domains, light-induced activation of the C-terminal kinase domain and subsequent receptor autophosphorylation is controlled primarily by the A'?-LOV2-J? photosensory module. Mutations that disrupt interactions between the LOV2 core and its flanking helical segments can uncouple this mode of light regulation. However, the impact of these mutations on phot function in Arabidopsis has not been explored. Here we report that histidine substitution of Arg-472 located within the A'?-helix of Arabidopsis phot1 constitutively activates phot1 kinase activity in vitro without affecting LOV2 photochemistry. Expression analysis of phot1 R472H in the phot-deficient mutant confirmed that it is autophosphorylated in darkness in vivo but unable to initiate phot1 signaling in the absence of light. Instead, we found that phot1 R472H is poorly functional under low-light conditions but can restore phototropism, chloroplast accumulation, stomatal opening, and leaf positioning and expansion at higher light intensities. Our findings suggest that Arabidopsis can adapt to the elevated phosphorylation status of the phot1 R472H mutant in part by reducing its stability, whereas the activity of the mutant under high-light conditions can be attributed to additional increases in LOV2-mediated photoreceptor autophosphorylation.
Project description:The phototropins (phots) are light-activated kinases that are critical for plant physiology and the many diverse optogenetic tools that they have inspired. Phototropins combine two blue-light-sensing Light-Oxygen-Voltage (LOV) domains (LOV1 and LOV2) and a C-terminal serine/threonine kinase domain, using the LOV domains to control the catalytic activity of the kinase. While much is known about the structure and photochemistry of the light-perceiving LOV domains, particularly in how activation of the LOV2 domain triggers the unfolding of alpha helices that communicate the light signal to the kinase domain, many questions about phot structure and mechanism remain. Recent studies have made progress addressing these questions by utilizing small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and other biophysical approaches to study multidomain phots from Chlamydomonas and Arabidopsis, leading to models where the domains have an extended linear arrangement, with the regulatory LOV2 domain contacting the kinase domain N-lobe. We discuss this and other advances that have improved structural and mechanistic understanding of phot regulation in this review, along with the challenges that will have to be overcome to obtain high-resolution structural information on these exciting photoreceptors. Such information will be essential to advancing fundamental understanding of plant physiology while enabling engineering efforts at both the whole plant and molecular levels.
Project description:Protein kinases (PKs) control many aspects of plant physiology by regulating signaling networks through protein phosphorylation. Phototropins (phots) are plasma membrane-associated serine/threonine PKs that control a range of physiological processes that collectively serve to optimize photosynthetic efficiency in plants. These include phototropism, leaf positioning and flattening, chloroplast movement, and stomatal opening. Despite their identification over two decades ago, only a handful of substrates have been identified for these PKs. Progress in this area has been hampered by the lack of a convenient means to confirm the identity of potential substrate candidates. Here we demonstrate that the kinase domain of Arabidopsis phot1 and phot2 can be successfully engineered to accommodate non-natural ATP analogues by substituting the bulky gatekeeper residue threonine for glycine. This approach circumvents the need for radioactivity to track phot kinase activity and follow light-induced receptor autophosphorylation in vitro by incorporating thiophosphate from N6-benzyl-ATP?S. Consequently, thiophosphorylation of phot substrate candidates can be readily monitored when added or co-expressed with phots in vitro Furthermore, gatekeeper-modified phot1 retained its functionality and its ability to accommodate N6-benzyl-ATP?S as a phosphodonor when expressed in Arabidopsis We therefore anticipate that this chemical genetic approach will provide new opportunities for labeling and identifying substrates for phots and other related AGC kinases under in vitro and near-native in vivo conditions.
Project description:The disruption of the sumoylation pathway affects processes controlled by the two phototropins (phots) of Arabidopsis thaliana, phot1 and phot2. Phots, plant UVA/blue light photoreceptors, regulate growth responses and fast movements aimed at optimizing photosynthesis, such as phototropism, chloroplast relocations and stomatal opening. Sumoylation is a posttranslational modification, consisting of the addition of a SUMO (SMALL UBIQUITIN-RELATED MODIFIER) protein to a lysine residue in the target protein. In addition to affecting the stability of proteins, it regulates their activity, interactions and subcellular localization. We examined physiological responses controlled by phots, phototropism and chloroplast movements, in sumoylation pathway mutants. Chloroplast accumulation in response to both continuous and pulse light was enhanced in the E3 ligase siz1 mutant, in a manner dependent on phot2. A significant decrease in phot2 protein abundance was observed in this mutant after blue light treatment both in seedlings and mature leaves. Using plant transient expression and yeast two-hybrid assays, we found that phots interacted with SUMO proteins mainly through their N-terminal parts, which contain the photosensory LOV domains. The covalent modification in phots by SUMO was verified using an Arabidopsis sumoylation system reconstituted in bacteria followed by the mass spectrometry analysis. Lys 297 was identified as the main target of SUMO3 in the phot2 molecule. Finally, sumoylation of phot2 was detected in Arabidopsis mature leaves upon light or heat stress treatment.
Project description:Phototropin (phot) is a blue light (BL) receptor in plants and is involved in phototropism, chloroplast movement, stomata opening, etc. A phot molecule has two photo-receptive domains named LOV (Light-Oxygen-Voltage) 1 and 2 in its N-terminal region and a serine/threonine kinase (STK) in its C-terminal region. STK activity is regulated mainly by LOV2, which has a cyclic photoreaction, including the transient formation of a flavin mononucleotide (FMN)-cysteinyl adduct (S390). One of the key events for the propagation of the BL signal from LOV2 to STK is conformational changes in a J?-helix residing downstream of the LOV2 C-terminus. In contrast, we focused on the role of the A'?-helix, which is located upstream of the LOV2 N-terminus and interacts with the J?-helix. Using LOV2-STK polypeptides from Arabidopsis thaliana phot1, we found that truncation of the A'?-helix and amino acid substitutions at Glu474 and Lys475 in the gap between the A'? and the A? strand of LOV2 (A'?/A? gap) to Ala impaired the BL-induced activation of the STK, although they did not affect S390 formation. Trypsin digested the LOV2-STK at Lys603 and Lys475 in a light-dependent manner indicating BL-induced structural changes in both the J?-helix and the gap. The digestion at Lys603 is faster than at Lys475. These BL-induced structural changes were observed with the Glu474Ala and the Lys475Ala substitutes, indicating that the BL signal reached the J?-helix as well as the A'?/A? gap but could not activate STK. The amino acid residues, Glu474 and Lys475, in the gap are conserved among the phots of higher plants and may act as a joint to connect the structural changes in the J?-helix with the activation of STK.
Project description:We recently investigated the roles of the phototropin 1 (PHOT1) LOV (light, oxygen or voltage) domains in mediating phototropic curvature in transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings expressing either wild-type PHOT1 or PHOT1 with one or both LOV domains inactivated by a single amino acid replacement. We have now investigated the role of the PHOT1 LOV domains in chloroplast movement and in leaf positioning in response to blue light. Low fluence rate blue light is known to mediate a chloroplast accumulation response and high fluence rate blue light an avoidance response in Arabidopsis leaves. As was the case for phototropism, LOV2 of PHOT1 is essential for chloroplast accumulation and LOV1 is dispensable. PHOT1 LOV2 is also essential to maintain developing primary leaves in a horizontal position under white light from above and LOV1 is again dispensable. A red light pulse given to dark-adapted light-grown plants followed by 2 h of darkness enhances both the chloroplast accumulation response under dim blue light and the chloroplast avoidance response under strong blue light. The effect is far-red reversible. This photoreversible response is normal in a phyB null mutant but does not appear in a phyA null mutant. These results suggest that phyA mediates the enhancement, induced by a red light pulse, of blue light-induced chloroplast movements.
Project description:Phototropin (Phot), a blue-light photoreceptor in plants, consists of two FMN-binding domains (named LOV1 and LOV2) and a serine/threonine (Ser/Thr) kinase domain. We have investigated light-induced structural changes of LOV domains, which lead to the activation of the kinase domain, by means of light-induced difference FTIR spectroscopy. FTIR spectroscopy revealed that the reactive cysteine is protonated in both unphotolyzed and triplet-excited states, which is difficult to detect by other methods such as X-ray crystallography. In this review, we describe the light-induced structural changes of hydrogen-bonding environment of FMN chromophore and protein backbone in Adiantum neo1-LOV2 in the C=O stretching region by use of 13C-labeled samples. We also describe the comprehensive FTIR analysis of LOV2 domains among Arabidopsis phot1, phot2, and Adiantum neo1 with and without J? helix domain.
Project description:In the plant blue-light sensor phototropin, illumination of the chromophoric LOV domains causes activation of the serine/threonine kinase domain. Flavin mononucleotide (FMN) is a chromophore molecule in the two LOV domains (LOV1 and LOV2), but only LOV2 is responsible for kinase activation. Previous studies reported an important role of an additional helix connected to the C-terminal of LOV2 (Jalpha helix) for the function of phototropin; however, it remains unclear how the Jalpha helix affects light-induced structural changes in LOV2. In this study we compared light-induced protein structural changes of the LOV2 domain of Arabidopsis phot1 in the absence (LOV2-core) and presence (LOV2-Jalpha) of the Jalpha helix by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Prominent peaks were observed only in the amide-I region (1650 (-)/1625 (+) cm(-1)) of LOV2-Jalpha at physiological temperatures (>/=260 K), corresponding to structural perturbation of the alpha-helix. The peaks were diminished by point mutation of functionally important amino acids such as Phe-556 between FMN and the beta-sheet, Gln-575 being hydrogen-bonded with FMN, and Ile-608 on the Jalpha helix. We thus conclude that a light signal is relayed from FMN through these amino acids and eventually changes the interaction between LOV2-core and the Jalpha helix in Arabidopsis phot1.
Project description:Phototropin (phot1) is a blue light-activated plasma membrane-associated kinase that acts as the principal photoreceptor for shoot phototropism in Arabidopsis in conjunction with the signalling component Non-Phototropic Hypocotyl 3 (NPH3). PHOT1 is uniformly expressed throughout the Arabidopsis hypocotyl, yet decapitation experiments have localized the site of light perception to the upper hypocotyl. This prompted us to investigate in more detail the functional role of the hypocotyl apex, and the regions surrounding it, in establishing phototropism. We used a non-invasive approach where PHOT1-GFP (P1-GFP) expression was targeted to the hypocotyl apex of the phot-deficient mutant using the promoters of CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON 3 (CUC3) and AINTEGUMENTA (ANT). Expression of CUC3::P1-GFP was clearly visible at the hypocotyl apex, with weaker expression in the cotyledons, whereas ANT::P1-GFP was specifically targeted to the developing leaves. Both lines showed impaired curvature to 0.005 ?mol m<sup>-2</sup> sec<sup>-1</sup> unilateral blue light, indicating that regions below the apical meristem are necessary for phototropism. Curvature was however apparent at higher fluence rates. Moreover, CUC3::P1-GFP partially or fully complemented petiole positioning, leaf flattening and chloroplast accumulation, but not stomatal opening. Yet, tissue analysis of NPH3 de-phosphorylation showed that CUC3::P1-GFP and ANT::P1-GFP mis-express very low levels of phot1 that likely account for this responsiveness. Our spatial targeting approach therefore excludes the hypocotyl apex as the site for light perception for phototropism and shows that phot1-mediated NPH3 de-phosphorylation is tissue autonomous and occurs more prominently in the basal hypocotyl.
Project description:Phototropins control phototropism, chloroplast movement, stomatal opening, and leaf expansion in plants. Phototropin 1 (phot1) is composed of a kinase domain linked to two blue light-sensing domains, LOV2 and LOV1, which bind flavin mononucleotide. Disruption of the interaction between the LOV2 domain and a helical segment named Jalpha, joining LOV to the kinase domain, induces the subsequent kinase activity of phototropin 1 and further-downstream signal transduction. Here we study the effects of temperature and hydration on the light-triggered signal propagation in the phot1 LOV2 domain of Avena sativa (AsLOV2/Jalpha), using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to unravel part of the molecular mechanism of phototropin 1. We report that AsLOV2/Jalpha shows an intense signal in the amide I and II regions, arising mainly from beta-sheet changes and the unbinding of the Jalpha helix from the Per-ARNT-Sim core and its subsequent partial unfolding. Importantly, these structural changes only occur under conditions of full hydration and at temperatures above 280 K. We characterized a newly isolated low-hydration intermediate that shows a downshift of high-frequency amide I signals and that possibly corresponds to loop tightening, without large beta-sheet or Jalpha structural changes. In addition, we report a heterogeneity in AsLOV2/Jalpha involving two different C(4)=O conformer populations, coexisting in the dark state and characterized by C(4)=O carbonyl frequencies at 1712 cm(-1) and 1694 cm(-1) that are attributable to a single H-bond and two H-bonds at this site, respectively. Such conformers display slightly shifted absorption spectra and cause a splitting of the 475-nm band in the ultraviolet/visible spectra of LOV domains at low temperature.
Project description:Phot proteins (phototropins and homologs) are blue-light photoreceptors that control mechanical processes like phototropism, chloroplast relocation, or guard-cell opening in plants. Phot receptors consist of two flavin mononucleotide (FMN)-binding light, oxygen, or voltage (LOV) domains and a C-terminal serine/threonine kinase domain. We determined crystal structures of the LOV1 domain of Phot1 from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in the dark and illuminated state to 1.9 A and 2.8 A resolution, respectively. The structure resembles that of LOV2 from Adiantum (Crosson, S. and K. Moffat. 2001. PROC: Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 98:2995-3000). In the resting dark state of LOV1, the reactive Cys-57 is present in two conformations. Blue-light absorption causes formation of a proposed active signaling state that is characterized by a covalent bond between the flavin C4a and the thiol of Cys-57. There are differences around the FMN chromophore but no large overall conformational changes. Quantum chemical calculations based on the crystal structures revealed the electronic distribution in the active site during the photocycle. The results suggest trajectories for electrons, protons, and the active site cysteine and offer an interpretation of the reaction mechanism.