Phytochrome Regulation of Transcription: Biochemical and Genetic Approaches
Phytochrome action has been demonstrated to affect the transcription of a number of different genes in many different species (see reviews by Tobin and Silverthorne, 1985; Kuhlemeier et al., 1987). The effect may be either a positive or negative one. Other light receptors, circadian rhythms, and tissue type have also been shown to have effects on the transcription of phytochrome regulated genes. Particular short “light responsive elements” that can interact with protein factors have been identified upstream of a number of rbcS and cab genes encoding, respectively, the small subunit (SSU) of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) and the major apoproteins of the photosystem II light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-protein complex (LHCII). The evidence suggests these sequences play an important role in the overall response to light/dark conditions (reviewed in Silverthorne and Tobin, 1987; Benfey and Chua, 1989). There is also evidence that phytochrome action can alter RNA levels by effects on additional, post-transcriptional processes (Colbert, 1988; Thompson, 1988; Elliott et al., 1989), as well as influence many other processes, such as membrane permeability, that may not involve altered gene expression (Kendrick and Kronenberg, 1986). Although the phytochrome chromoprotein has itself been the subject of biochemical studies for many years, to date there is no clear understanding of the chain of events by which the phototransformation of phytochrome leads to specific transcriptional changes.
KeywordsChloramphenicol Acetyl Transferase Kunitz Trypsin Inhibitor Chloramphenicol Acetyl Transferase Activity Phytochrome Action Tms2 Gene
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