Transposing phytochrome into the nucleus

Trends Plant Sci. 2008 Nov;13(11):596-601. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.08.007. Epub 2008 Sep 27.


To control many physiological responses, phytochromes directly modulate gene expression. A key regulatory event in this signal transduction pathway is the light-controlled translocation of the photoreceptor from the cytoplasm into the nucleus. Recent publications are beginning to shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying this central control point. Interestingly, there is a specific mechanism for phytochrome A (phyA) nuclear accumulation. The dedicated phyA nuclear import pathway might be important for the distinct photosensory specificity of this atypical phytochrome. Recent studies in the field also provide a starting point for investigating how the different subcellular pools of phytochrome can control distinct responses to light.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis
  • Models, Biological
  • Phytochrome / metabolism*
  • Phytochrome A / metabolism
  • Phytochrome B / metabolism
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*


  • Phytochrome A
  • Phytochrome
  • Phytochrome B