Comparative functional analysis of full-length and N-terminal fragments of phytochrome C, D and E in red light-induced signaling



  • Phytochromes (phy) C, D and E are involved in the regulation of red/far-red light-induced photomorphogenesis of Arabidopsis thaliana, but only limited data are available on the mode of action and biological function of these lesser studied phytochrome species.
  • We fused N-terminal fragments or full-length PHYC, D and E to YELLOW FLUORESCENT PROTEIN (YFP), and analyzed the function, stability and intracellular distribution of these fusion proteins in planta.
  • The activity of the constitutively nuclear-localized homodimers of N-terminal fragments was comparable with that of full-length PHYC, D, E-YFP, and resulted in the regulation of various red light-induced photomorphogenic responses in the studied genetic backgrounds. PHYE-YFP was active in the absence of phyB and phyD, and PHYE-YFP controlled responses, as well as accumulation, of the fusion protein in the nuclei, was saturated at low fluence rates of red light and did not require functional FAR-RED ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL1 (FHY-1) and FHY-1-like proteins.
  • Our data suggest that PHYC-YFP, PHYD-YFP and PHYE-YFP fusion proteins, as well as their truncated N-terminal derivatives, are biologically active in the modulation of red light-regulated photomorphogenesis. We propose that PHYE-YFP can function as a homodimer and that low-fluence red light-induced translocation of phyE and phyA into the nuclei is mediated by different molecular mechanisms.