American Chemical Society
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Blue Light Induces Global and Localized Conformational Changes in the Kinase Domain of Full-Length Phototropin

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-02-09, 00:00 authored by Anna Pfeifer, Tilo Mathes, Yinghong Lu, Peter Hegemann, Tilman Kottke
The blue-light photoreceptor phototropin plays a crucial role in optimizing photosynthesis in plants. In the two light-, oxygen-, or voltage-sensitive (LOV) domains of phototropin, the light stimulus is absorbed by the flavin chromophores. The signal is assumed to be transferred via dissociation and unfolding of a conserved Jα helix element to the serine/threonine kinase domain. We investigated full-length phototropin from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy to shed light on the signal transfer within the protein and on the structural response of the kinase. Light-induced structural changes were assigned by comparing signals of the full-length protein with those of the truncated LOV1-LOV2-Jα and LOV1-LOV2 and with those of deletion mutants. A loss of helicity originating from the Jα linker helix was observed in LOV1-LOV2-Jα in agreement with previous studies of LOV2-Jα. Full-length phototropin showed reversible global conformational changes via several turn elements. These changes were suppressed in a deletion mutant lacking the Jα linker and are attributed to the kinase domain. The loss of turn structure is interpreted as a light-induced opening of the kinase tertiary structure upon release of the LOV2 domain. Concomitant protonation changes of Asp or Glu residues in the kinase domain were not observed. A light-induced loss in helicity was observed only in the presence of a phototropin-characteristic 54-amino acid extension of the kinase activation loop, which is predicted to be located apart from the catalytic cleft. This response of the extension might play a significant role in the phototropin signaling process.