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Photochem Photobiol. 2004 Nov-Dec;80(3):429-33.

A phytochrome-like protein AphC triggers the cAMP signaling induced by far-red light in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


In the filamentous, nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC7120, red light (630 nm) decreased, whereas far-red light (720 nm) increased cellular adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) content. To find a red and far-red light photoreceptor that triggers the cAMP signal cascade, we disrupted 10 open reading frame having putative chromophore-binding GAF domains. The response of the cellular cAMP concentration to red and far-red light in each open reading frame disruptant was determined. It was found that only the mutant of the gene all2699 failed to respond to far-red light. The open reading frame named as aphC encoded a protein with 920 amino acids including GAF domains similar to those involved in Cph2, a photoreceptor of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. To determine which adenylate cyclase (AC) is responsible for far-red light signal, we disrupted all AC genes and found that CyaC was the candidate. The enzymatic activity of CyaC might be controlled by a far-red light photoreceptor through the phosphotransfer reaction. The site-specific mutant of the Asp59 residue of the receiver (R1) domain of CyaC lost its light-response capability. It was suggested that the far-red light signal was received by AphC and then transferred to the N-terminal response regulator domain of CyaC. Then its catalytic activity was stimulated, which increased the cellular cAMP concentration and drove the subsequent signal transduction cascade.

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