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Transposase-Derived Transcription Factors Regulate Light Signaling in Arabidopsis

Science  23 Nov 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5854, pp. 1302-1305
DOI: 10.1126/science.1146281

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Abstract

Plants use light to optimize growth and development. The photoreceptor phytochrome A (phyA) mediates various far-red light–induced responses. We show that Arabidopsis FHY3 and FAR1, which encode two proteins related to Mutator-like transposases, act together to modulate phyA signaling by directly activating the transcription of FHY1 and FHL, whose products are essential for light-induced phyA nuclear accumulation and subsequent light responses. FHY3 and FAR1 have separable DNA binding and transcriptional activation domains that are highly conserved in Mutator-like transposases. Further, expression of FHY3 and FAR1 is negatively regulated by phyA signaling. We propose that FHY3 and FAR1 represent transcription factors that have been co-opted from an ancient Mutator-like transposase(s) to modulate phyA-signaling homeostasis in higher plants.

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