Arabidopsis NPH1: A Flavoprotein with the Properties of a Photoreceptor for Phototropism

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Science  27 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5394, pp. 1698-1701
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5394.1698

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The NPH1 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana encodes a 120-kilodalton serine-threonine protein kinase hypothesized to function as a photoreceptor for phototropism. When expressed in insect cells, the NPH1 protein is phosphorylated in response to blue light irradiation. The biochemical and photochemical properties of the photosensitive protein reflect those of the native protein in microsomal membranes. Recombinant NPH1 noncovalently binds flavin mononucleotide, a likely chromophore for light-dependent autophosphorylation. The fluorescence excitation spectrum of the recombinant protein is similar to the action spectrum for phototropism, consistent with the conclusion that NPH1 is an autophosphorylating flavoprotein photoreceptor mediating phototropic responses in higher plants.

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