How organisms respond to light and how photosensory receptors mediate light responses are some of the most basic questions in biology that affect human health. Cryptochromes (CRY) are blue/UV-A light receptors found in bacteria, plants, and animals including human, but the molecular mechanisms of CRYs remain not well understood. My laboratory uses Arabidopsis as the model system to study signaling mechanisms underlying CRY1 and CRY2 regulation of plant development. We recently identified, for the first time, blue light-dependent CRY-interacting proteins in plants. We propose to continue study CRY1 and CRY2 signaling mechanisms with three specific aims. First, we propose to investigate how CRY-interacting proteins regulate transcription, mRNA export, and protein stability. Second, we plan to investigate CRY regulation of cell-type- specific gene expression changes. Third, we propose to identify and characterize genes affecting blue light-induced CRY2 degradation and blue light- suppressed CIB1 degradation.

Public Health Relevance

Cryptochromes (CRY) are blue/UV-A light receptors regulating plant development and human health. We propose to study CRY-interacting proteins and how they mediate CRY regulation of gene expression in response to light.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Cellular Signaling and Regulatory Systems Study Section (CSRS)
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Maas, Stefan
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University of California Los Angeles
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Los Angeles
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Liu, Bobin; Yang, Zhaohe; Gomez, Adam et al. (2016) Signaling mechanisms of plant cryptochromes in Arabidopsis thaliana. J Plant Res 129:137-48
Gao, Jie; Wang, Xu; Zhang, Meng et al. (2015) Trp triad-dependent rapid photoreduction is not required for the function of Arabidopsis CRY1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:9135-40
Wang, Qin; Barshop, William D; Bian, Mingdi et al. (2015) The blue light-dependent phosphorylation of the CCE domain determines the photosensitivity of Arabidopsis CRY2. Mol Plant 8:631-43
Fristedt, Rikard; Scharff, Lars B; Clarke, Cornelia A et al. (2014) RBF1, a plant homolog of the bacterial ribosome-binding factor RbfA, acts in processing of the chloroplast 16S ribosomal RNA. Plant Physiol 164:201-15
Wang, Xu; Wang, Qin; Nguyen, Paula et al. (2014) Cryptochrome-mediated light responses in plants. Enzymes 35:167-89
Liu, Hongtao; Wang, Qin; Liu, Yawen et al. (2013) Arabidopsis CRY2 and ZTL mediate blue-light regulation of the transcription factor CIB1 by distinct mechanisms. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:17582-7
Liu, Yawen; Li, Xu; Li, Kunwu et al. (2013) Multiple bHLH proteins form heterodimers to mediate CRY2-dependent regulation of flowering-time in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genet 9:e1003861
Wang, Honggui; Zhang, Zenglin; Li, Hongyu et al. (2013) CONSTANS-LIKE 7 regulates branching and shade avoidance response in Arabidopsis. J Exp Bot 64:1017-24
Wang, Qin; Zhu, Ziqiang; Ozkardesh, Kara et al. (2013) Phytochromes and phytohormones: the shrinking degree of separation. Mol Plant 6:5-7
Meng, Yingying; Li, Hongyu; Wang, Qin et al. (2013) Blue light-dependent interaction between cryptochrome2 and CIB1 regulates transcription and leaf senescence in soybean. Plant Cell 25:4405-20

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