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Mol Cell. 2006 Aug 4;23(3):439-46.

Photoactivated phytochrome induces rapid PIF3 phosphorylation prior to proteasome-mediated degradation.

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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Following light-induced nuclear translocation, specific members of the phytochrome (phy) photoreceptor family (phyA to phyE) interact with bHLH transcription factors, such as PIF3, and induce changes in target-gene expression. The biochemical mechanism comprising signal transfer from phy to PIF3 has remained undefined but results in rapid degradation of PIF3. We provide evidence that photoactivation of phy induces rapid in vivo phosphorylation of PIF3 preceding degradation. Both phyA and phyB redundantly induce this PIF3 phosphorylation, as well as nuclear speckle formation and degradation, by direct interaction with PIF3 via separate binding sites. These data suggest that phy-induced phosphorylation of proteins such as PIF3 may represent the primary intermolecular signaling transaction of the activated photoreceptor, tagging the target protein for proteosomal degradation, possibly in nuclear speckles.

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