Phytochromes are bifunctional photoreceptors with a two-domain structure, consisting of the N-terminal photosensory domain and the C-terminal regulatory domain. The photo-induced Pr <--> Pfr phototransformation accompanies subtle conformational changes, primarily triggered by the apoprotein-chromophore interactions in the N-terminal domain. The conformational signals are subsequently transmitted to the C-terminal domain through various inter-domain crosstalks, resulting in the interaction of the activated C-terminal domain with phytochrome interacting factors. Thus the inter-domain crosstalks play critical roles in the photoactivation of the phytochromes. Protein phosphorylation, such as that of Ser-598, is implicated in this process by inducing conformational changes and by modulating inter-domain signaling.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.