The Arabidopsis blue light receptor cryptochrome 2 is a nuclear protein regulated by a blue light-dependent post-transcriptional mechanism

Plant J. 1999 Aug;19(3):279-87. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1999.00525.x.


Cryptochrome 2 is a flavin-type blue light receptor mediating floral induction in response to photoperiod and a blue light-induced hypocotyl growth inhibition. cry2 is required for the elevated expression of the flowering-time gene CO in response to long-day photoperiods, but the molecular mechanism underlying the function of cry2 is not clear. The carboxyl domain of cry2 bears a basic bipartite nuclear localization signal, and the cry2 protein was co-fractionated with the nucleus. Analysis of transgenic plants expressing a fusion protein of CRY2 and the reporter enzyme GUS (GUS-CRY2) indicated that the GUS-CRY2 fusion protein accumulated in the nucleus of transgenic plants grown in dark or light. The C-terminal domain of cry2 that contains the basic bipartite nuclear localization signal was sufficient to confer nuclear localization of the fusion protein. Phenotypic analysis of transgenic plants expressing the fusion protein GUS-CRY2 demonstrated that GUS-CRY2 acts as a functional photoreceptor in vivo, mediating the blue light-induced inhibition of hypocotyl elongation. These results strongly suggest that cry2 is a nuclear protein. Although no obvious light regulation was found for the nuclear compartmentation of GUS-CRY2 fusion protein, the abundance of GUS-CRY2 was regulated by blue light in a way similar to that of cry2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / radiation effects*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cryptochromes
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Eye Proteins*
  • Flavoproteins / chemistry
  • Flavoproteins / genetics
  • Flavoproteins / metabolism*
  • Light
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate*
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / chemistry
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / genetics
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CRY1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Cryptochromes
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Flavoproteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • cry protein, Drosophila