Photosensory perception and signalling in plant cells: new paradigms?

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2002 Apr;14(2):180-8. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(02)00309-5.


Plants monitor informational light signals using three sensory photoreceptor families: the phototropins, cryptochromes and phytochromes. Recent advances suggest that the phytochromes act transcriptionally by targeting light signals directly to photoresponsive promoters through binding to a transcriptional regulator. By contrast, the cryptochromes appear to act post-translationally, by disrupting extant proteosome-mediated degradation of a key transcriptional activator through direct binding to a putative E3 ubiquitin ligase, thereby elevating levels of the activator and consequently of target gene expression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cryptochromes
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Eye Proteins*
  • Flavoproteins / metabolism*
  • Ligases / metabolism
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate*
  • Phytochrome / metabolism*
  • Plant Cells
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases


  • Cryptochromes
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Flavoproteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Transcription Factors
  • cry protein, Drosophila
  • Phytochrome
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Ligases