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Cryo-electron microscopy of Arabidopsis thaliana phytochrome A in its Pr state reveals head-to-head homodimeric architecture

Title data

Yuan Wahlgren, Weixiao ; Golonka, David ; Westenhoff, Sebastian ; Möglich, Andreas:
Cryo-electron microscopy of Arabidopsis thaliana phytochrome A in its Pr state reveals head-to-head homodimeric architecture.
In: Frontiers in Plant Science. Vol. 12 (March 2021) .
ISSN 1664-462X
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.663751

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Phytochrome photoreceptors regulate vital adaptations of plant development, growth, and physiology depending on the ratio of red and far-red light. The light-triggered Z/E isomerization of a covalently bound bilin chromophore underlies phytochrome photoconversion between the red-absorbing Pr and far-red-absorbing Pfr states. Compared to bacterial phytochromes, the molecular mechanisms of signal propagation to the C-terminal module and its regulation are little understood in plant phytochromes, not least owing to a dearth of structural information. To address this deficit, we studied the Arabidopsis thaliana phytochrome A (AtPhyA) at full length by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Following heterologous expression in Escherichia coli, we optimized the solvent conditions to overcome protein aggregation and thus obtained photochemically active, near-homogenous AtPhyA. We prepared grids for cryo-EM analysis of AtPhyA in its Pr state and conducted single-particle analysis. The resulting two-dimensional class averages and the three-dimensional electron density map at 17 Å showed a homodimeric head-to-head assembly of AtPhyA. Docking of domain structures into the electron density revealed a separation of the AtPhyA homodimer at the junction of its photosensor and effector modules, as reflected in a large void in the middle of map. The overall architecture of AtPhyA resembled that of bacterial phytochromes, thus hinting at commonalities in signal transduction and mechanism between these receptors. Our study paves the way towards future studies of the structure, light response and interactions of full-length phytochromes by cryo-EM.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Cryo-electron microscopy; Phytochrome; Sensory photoreceptor; Signal transduction; Single particle
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Chemistry > Chair Biochemistry > Chair Biochemistry - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Möglich
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2021 07:39
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2021 07:39
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/64462