Light Signal Transduction Pathway from Flavin Chromophore to the Jα Helix of Arabidopsis Phototropin1

Department of Frontier Materials, Nagoya Institute of Technology, Nagoya, Japan.
Biophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 3.97). 04/2009; 96(7):2771-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2008.12.3924
Source: PubMed


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.

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Available from: Tatsuya Iwata, Mar 06, 2014
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    • "Another basic question of LOV domain signaling is the signal transduction pathway. The conformational changes of protein induced by the C(4a)–S(Cys) bond formation were studied by IR spectroscopy, mostly by Kandori's group, who determined the key residues and protein fragment [2] [15] [18] [23] [38] [41] [56] [57]. In addition, FTIR studies also revealed the C=O stretching band of flavin [14] and the conformational heterogeneity of the LOV domain [2] [44]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Flavin cofactor is known to perform diverse biological functions. Recently, its role as a photoreceptor has been identified. So far, three classes of photoactive flavoproteins have been recognized: phototropin with LOV (Light, Oxygen and Voltage) domain, blue light sensory protein with BLUF (Blue Light sensing Using Flavin adenine dinucleotide) domain and photolyase/cryptochrome protein with PHR (Photolyase Homology Region) domain. Photochemistry of flavin is the key to unravel the reaction mechanisms of photoactive flavoproteins in their biological functions such as DNA repair or signal transduction. Vibrational (Infrared and Raman) spectroscopy is a useful and sensitive tool to investigate the photochemistry of flavin in protein environments and has significantly contributed to elucidate the reaction mechanisms of these photoactive proteins. This study will survey recent advances in vibrational spectroscopic studies on this topic and remaining questions to be answered.
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    ABSTRACT: Phototropins (phot) are blue light receptors in plants which are involved in phototropism, stomatal opening, and chloroplast movements. Phototropin has two LOV domains (LOV1 and LOV2), and the LOV2 domain is responsible for activation of Ser/Thr kinase. There is an alpha-helix at the C-terminal side of the LOV2 domain, which is called the Jalpha helix. The functional importance of the Jalpha helix has been established for Arabidopsis phot1, where light-induced structural perturbation takes place in the Jalpha helix during the photocycle of LOV2 domains. However, the present FTIR study reports a different role of the Jalpha helix in light-induced signal transduction of LOV2 domains. Here we construct LOV2 domains with (LOV-Jalpha) and without (LOV-core) the Jalpha helix for Arabidopsis phot1 and phot2 and Adiantum neochrome 1 and compare their light-induced difference FTIR spectra. Light-induced protein structural changes differ significantly between LOV-Jalpha and LOV-core for Arabidopsis phot1 [Yamamoto, A., Iwata, T., Sato, Y., Matsuoka, D., Tokutomi, S., and Kandori, H. (2009) Biophys. J. 96, 2771-2778]. In contrast, the difference spectra are identical between LOV-Jalpha and LOV-core for Adiantum neochrome 1. In Arabidopsis phot2, the protein structural changes are intermediate between Arabidopsis phot1 and Adiantum neochrome 1. These results suggest that the conformational changes of the Jalpha helix and the interaction between the LOV-core and the Jalpha helix are different among phototropins. The role of the Jalpha helix for signal transduction in phototropins is discussed.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The blue-light photoreceptor phototropin plays a crucial role in optimizing photosynthesis in plants. In the two light-, oxygen-, or voltage-sensitive (LOV) domains of phototropin, the light stimulus is absorbed by the flavin chromophores. The signal is assumed to be transferred via dissociation and unfolding of a conserved J alpha helix element to the serine/threonine kinase domain. We investigated full-length phototropin from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to shed light on the signal transfer within the protein and on the structural response of the kinase. Light-induced structural changes were assigned by comparing signals of the full-length protein with those of the truncated LOV1-LOV2-J alpha and LOV1-LOV2 and with those of deletion mutants. A loss of helicity originating from the J alpha linker helix was observed in LOV1-LOV2-J alpha in agreement with previous studies of LOV2-J alpha. Full-length phototropin showed reversible global conformational changes via several turn elements. These changes were suppressed in a deletion mutant lacking the J alpha linker and are attributed to the kinase domain. The loss of turn structure is interpreted as a light-induced opening of the kinase tertiary structure upon release of the LOV2 domain. Concomitant protonation changes of Asp or Glu residues in the kinase domain were not observed. A light-induced loss in helicity was observed only in the presence of a phototropin-characteristic 54-amino acid extension of the kinase activation loop, which is predicted to be located apart from the catalytic cleft. This response of the extension might play a significant role in the phototropin signaling process.
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