White collar-1, a central regulator of blue light responses in Neurospora, is a zinc finger protein

EMBO J. 1996 Apr 1;15(7):1650-7.


The Neurospora crassa blind mutant white collar-1 (wc-1) is pleiotropically defective in all blue light-induced phenomena, establishing a role for the wc-1 gene product in the signal transduction pathway. We report the cloning of the wc-1 gene isolated by chromosome walking and mutant complementation. The elucidation of the wc-1 gene product provides a key piece of the blue light signal transduction puzzle. The wc-1 gene encodes a 125 kDa protein whose encoded motifs include a single class four, zinc finger DNA binding domain and a glutamine-rich putative transcription activation domain. We demonstrate that the wc-1 zinc finger domain, expressed in Escherichia coli, is able to bind specifically to the promoter of a blue light-regulated gene of Neurospora using an in vitro gel retardation assay. Furthermore, we show that wc-1 gene expression is autoregulated and is transcriptionally induced by blue light irradiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosome Walking
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Light
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Neurospora crassa / genetics*
  • Neurospora crassa / radiation effects*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X94300
  • SWISSPROT/P15976
  • SWISSPROT/P23769
  • SWISSPROT/P23771