The photomorphogenic repressors COP1 and DET1: 20 years later

Trends Plant Sci. 2012 Oct;17(10):584-93. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2012.05.004. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


COP1 and DET1 are among the first repressors of photomorphogenesis to be identified, more than 20 years ago. Discovery of these repressors as conserved regulators of the ubiquitin-proteasome system has established protein degradation as a central theme in light signal transduction. COP1 is a RING E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets key regulators for degradation, and DET1 complexes with COP10 and DDB1, which is proposed to aid in COP1-mediated degradation. Recent studies have strengthened the role of COP1 as a major signaling center. DET1 is also emerging as a chromatin regulator in repressing gene expression. Here, we review current understanding on COP1 and DET1, with a focus on their role as part of two distinct, multimeric CUL4-based E3 ligases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / radiation effects
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Cullin Proteins / genetics
  • Cullin Proteins / metabolism
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Flowers / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genetic Loci
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Light
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Development / radiation effects*
  • Proteolysis
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CULLIN4 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Cullin Proteins
  • DET1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • AT2G32950 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases