Phytochrome nuclear body: an emerging model to study interphase nuclear dynamics and signaling

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Oct;11(5):503-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.06.012. Epub 2008 Aug 6.


In higher plants, one of the most striking effects of light at the cellular level is the formation of phytochrome nuclear bodies (PNBs). In Arabidopsis, two types of PNBs have been described: a transient type of PNBs (tPNBs), containing both phytochrome A and phytochrome B, observed during the dark-to-light transition and a relatively photo-stable type of phytochrome B-containing PNBs (sPNBs) under continuous light. Despite the separation of the cell-biological observations of PNBs from the traditional model of light signaling elucidated by genetic and biochemical approaches, a growing body of evidence indicates that PNBs are intimately involved in phytochrome signaling. Both positive and negative light signaling components have been colocalized to PNBs, which provides direct evidence bridging PNBs and phytochrome signaling. In particular, the sPNB serves as an excellent tractable marker for early phytochrome signaling events, and thus provides a remarkable genetic system to investigate the mechanistic connection between interphase subnuclear dynamics and cell signaling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / ultrastructure
  • Darkness
  • Interphase / physiology*
  • Intranuclear Space / chemistry
  • Intranuclear Space / metabolism*
  • Light
  • Models, Biological*
  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • Phytochrome A / analysis
  • Phytochrome A / metabolism*
  • Phytochrome B / analysis
  • Phytochrome B / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • Phytochrome A
  • Phytochrome B