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Plant Cell. 2006 Apr;18(4):921-34. Epub 2006 Feb 24.

Arabidopsis SHORT HYPOCOTYL UNDER BLUE1 contains SPX and EXS domains and acts in cryptochrome signaling.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, University of Minesota, St. Paul, Minesota 55108, USA.


Photomorphogenesis is regulated by red/far-red light-absorbing phytochromes and blue/UV-A light-absorbing cryptochromes. We isolated an Arabidopsis thaliana blue light mutant, short hypocotyl under blue1 (shb1), a knockout allele. However, shb1-D, a dominant allele, exhibited a long-hypocotyl phenotype under red, far-red, and blue light. The phenotype conferred by shb1-D was caused by overaccumulation of SHB1 transcript and recapitulated by overexpression of SHB1 in Arabidopsis. Therefore, SHB1 acts in cryptochrome signaling but overexpression may expand its signaling activity to red and far-red light. Consistent with this, overexpression of SHB1 enhanced the expression of PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR4 (PIF4) under red light. PIF4 appears to specifically mediate SHB1 regulation of hypocotyl elongation and CHLOROPHYLL a/b BINDING PROTEIN3 or CHALCONE SYNTHASE expression under red light. Overexpression of SHB1 also promoted proteasome-mediated degradation of phytochrome A and hypocotyl elongation under far-red light. Under blue light, shb1 suppressed LONG HYPOCOTYL IN FAR-RED LIGHT1 (HFR1) expression and showed several deetiolation phenotypes similar to hfr1-201. However, the hypocotyl and cotyledon-opening phenotypes of shb1 were opposite to those of hfr1-201, and HFR1 acts downstream of SHB1. SHB1 encodes a nuclear and cytosolic protein that has motifs homologous with SYG1 protein family members. Therefore, our studies reveal a signaling step in regulating cryptochrome- and possibly phytochrome-mediated light responses.

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