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Mol Microbiol. 1998 Aug;29(3):719-29.

Roles in dimerization and blue light photoresponse of the PAS and LOV domains of Neurospora crassa white collar proteins.

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Dipartimento di Genetica e Biologia Molecolare, Centro di Studio per gli Acidi Nucleici, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


The genes coding for white collar-1 and white collar-2 (wc-1 and wc-2) have been isolated previously, and their products characterized as Zn-finger transcription factors involved in the control of blue light-induced genes. Here, we show that the PAS dimerization domains present in both proteins enable the WC-1 and WC-2 proteins to dimerize in vitro. Homodimers and heterodimers are formed between the white collar (WC) proteins. A computer analysis of WC-1 reveals a second domain, called LOV, also identified in NPH1, a putative blue light photoreceptor in plants and conserved in redox-sensitive proteins and in the phytochromes. The WC-1 LOV domain does not dimerize with canonical PAS domains, but it is able to self-dimerize. The isolation of three blind wc-1 strains, each with a single amino acid substitution only in the LOV domain, reveals that this region is essential for blue light responses in Neurospora. The demonstration that the WC-1 proteins in these LOV mutants are still able to self-dimerize suggests that this domain plays an additional role, essential in blue light signal transduction.

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