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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jun 27;103(26):10134-9. Epub 2006 Jun 15.

PHYTOCHROME KINASE SUBSTRATE 1 is a phototropin 1 binding protein required for phototropism.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, 30 Quai Ernest Ansermet, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.


Phototropism, or plant growth in response to unidirectional light, is an adaptive response of crucial importance. Lateral differences in low fluence rates of blue light are detected by phototropin 1 (phot1) in Arabidopsis. Only NONPHOTOTROPIC HYPOCOTYL 3 (NPH3) and root phototropism 2, both belonging to the same family of proteins, have been previously identified as phototropin-interacting signal transducers involved in phototropism. PHYTOCHROME KINASE SUBSTRATE (PKS) 1 and PKS2 are two phytochrome signaling components belonging to a small gene family in Arabidopsis (PKS1-PKS4). The strong enhancement of PKS1 expression by blue light and its light induction in the elongation zone of the hypocotyl prompted us to study the function of this gene family during phototropism. Photobiological experiments show that the PKS proteins are critical for hypocotyl phototropism. Furthermore, PKS1 interacts with phot1 and NPH3 in vivo at the plasma membrane and in vitro, indicating that the PKS proteins may function directly with phot1 and NPH3 to mediate phototropism. The phytochromes are known to influence phototropism but the mechanism involved is still unclear. We show that PKS1 induction by a pulse of blue light is phytochrome A-dependent, suggesting that the PKS proteins may provide a molecular link between these two photoreceptor families.

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