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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Aug;45(3):827-36.

A single flavoprotein, AppA, integrates both redox and light signals in Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie und Molekularbiologie, Universität Giessen, Germany.


Anoxygenic photosynthetic proteobacteria exhibit various light responses, including changing levels of expression of photosynthesis genes. However, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. We show that expression of the puf and puc operons encoding structural proteins of the photosynthetic complexes is strongly repressed by blue light under semi-aerobic growth in Rhodobacter sphaeroides but not in the related species Rhodobacter capsulatus. At very low oxygen tension, puf and puc expression is independent of blue light in both species. Photosynthetic electron transport does not mediate the blue light repression, implying the existence of specific photoreceptors. Here, we show that the flavoprotein AppA is likely to act as the photoreceptor for blue light-dependent repression during continuous illumination. The FAD cofactor of AppA is essential for the blue light-dependent sensory transduction of this response. AppA, which is present in R. sphaeroides but not in R. capsulatus, is known to participate in the redox-dependent control of photosynthesis gene expression. Thus, AppA is the first example of a protein with dual sensing capabilities that integrates both redox and light signals.

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