Inter-domain crosstalk in the phytochrome molecules

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2000 Dec;11(6):449-56. doi: 10.1006/scdb.2000.0200.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phytochrome / chemistry*
  • Phytochrome / physiology*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Phytochrome