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EMBO J. 1997 Jan 2; 16(1): 98–109.
PMCID: PMC1169617

White collar 2, a partner in blue-light signal transduction, controlling expression of light-regulated genes in Neurospora crassa.


A saturating genetic dissection of 'blind' mutants in Neurospora crassa has identified a total of two non-redundant loci (wc-1 and wc-2) each of which is required for blue-light perception/signal transduction. Previously, we demonstrated that WC1 is a putative zinc finger transcription factor able to bind specifically to a light-regulated promoter. Here, we present the cloning and characterization of the wc-2 gene. We demonstrate using mutation analysis and in vitro DNA-binding assays that WC2, the second partner of this light signal transduction system, encodes a functional zinc finger DNA-binding protein with putative PAS dimerization and transcription activation domains. This molecular genetic dissection of the second of two components of this light signal transduction system has enabled us to devise a model whereby WC1 and WC2 are proposed to interact via homologous PAS domains, bind to promoters of light-regulated genes and activate transcription. As such, this study provides the first insight into two co-operating partners in blue-light signal transduction in any organism and describes the molecular tools with which to dissect this enigmatic process.

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Selected References

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