Plant & cell physiology

The Blue Light-Dependent Polyubiquitination and Degradation of Arabidopsis Cryptochrome2 Requires Multiple E3 Ubiquitin Ligases.

PMID 27516416


Cryptochromes are blue light receptors regulated by light-dependent ubiquitination and degradation in both plant and animal lineages. The Arabidopsis genome encodes two cryptochromes, CRY1 and CRY2, of which CRY2 undergoes blue light-dependent ubiquitination and 26S proteasome-dependent degradation. The molecular mechanism regulating blue light-dependent proteolysis of CRY2 is still not fully understood. We found that the F-box proteins ZEITLUPE (ZTL) and Lov Kelch Protein2 (LKP2), which mediate blue light suppression of degradation of the CRY2 signaling partner CIB1, are not required for the blue light-dependent CRY2 degradation. We further showed that the previously reported function of the COP1-SPA1 protein complex in blue light-dependent CRY2 degradation is more likely to be attributable to its cullin 4 (CUL4)-based E3 ubiquitin ligase activity than its activity as the cryptochrome signaling partner. However, the blue light-dependent CRY2 degradation is only partially impaired in the cul4 mutant, the cop1-5 null mutant and the spa1234 quadruple mutant, suggesting a possible involvement of additional E3 ubiquitin ligases in the regulation of CRY2. Consistent with this hypothesis, we demonstrated that the blue light-dependent CRY2 degradation is significantly impaired in the temperature-sensitive cul1 mutant allele (axr6-3), especially under the non-permissive temperature. Based on these and other results presented, we propose that photoexcited CRY2 undergoes Lys48-linked polyubiquitination catalyzed by the CUL4- and CUL1-based E3 ubiquitin ligases.

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