Phytochrome signalling is mediated through nucleoside diphosphate kinase 2

Nature. 1999 Oct 7;401(6753):610-3. doi: 10.1038/44176.


Because plants are sessile, they have developed intricate strategies to adapt to changing environmental variables, including light. Their growth and development, from germination to flowering, is critically influenced by light, particularly at red (660 nm) and far-red (730 nm) wavelengths. Higher plants perceive red and far-red light by means of specific light sensors called phytochromes(A-E). However, very little is known about how light signals are transduced to elicit responses in plants. Here we report that nucleoside diphosphate kinase 2 (NDPK2) is an upstream component in the phytochrome signalling pathway in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In animal and human cells, NDPK acts as a tumour suppressor. We show that recombinant NDPK2 in Arabidopsis preferentially binds to the red-light-activated form of phytochrome in vitro and that this interaction increases the activity of recombinant NDPK2. Furthermore, a mutant lacking NDPK2 showed a partial defect in responses to both red and farred light, including cotyledon opening and greening. These results indicate that NDPK2 is a positive signalling component of the phytochrome-mediated light-signal-transduction pathway in Arabidopsis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Escherichia coli
  • Light
  • Mutation
  • Nucleoside-Diphosphate Kinase / genetics
  • Nucleoside-Diphosphate Kinase / metabolism*
  • Phytochrome / metabolism*
  • Phytochrome A
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tobacco
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • PHYA protein, Arabidopsis
  • Phytochrome A
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Phytochrome
  • nucleoside diphosphate kinase 2
  • Nucleoside-Diphosphate Kinase