Characterization and Application of Natural Light-Sensitive Proteins
Light is essential to life as the primary source of energy, but it is also sensed by many organisms to gain information about the environment. For this second purpose, several photoreceptors evolved in nature, among them the rhodopsins and the blue-light sensors. Rhodopsins are found not only in the animal kingdom but also in prokaryotes, Archaea, and green algae—so far, however, not in higher plants. The UV/blue-light-sensing photoreceptors for phototropism and photomorphogen-esis in plants were found to be flavoproteins, of which homologues were found in all kingdoms. Although the signaling chains initiated by these photoreceptors in their natural cellular environment still have to be worked out, especially in plants, some of these photoreceptors could be successfully transplanted to other organisms to act as light-regulated molecular tools. Here we describe briefly the properties of and applications for type I rhodopsins and a photoactivated adenylyl cyclase (PAC), a flavoprotein from Euglena gracilis.
KeywordsCystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide Light Flash Schizosaccharomyces Pombe Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide
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