Bacteriophytochromes: Phytochrome-Like Photoreceptors from Nonphotosynthetic Eubacteria

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Science  24 Dec 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5449, pp. 2517-2520
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5449.2517

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Phytochromes are a family of photoreceptors used by green plants to entrain their development to the light environment. The distribution of these chromoproteins has been expanded beyond photoautotrophs with the discovery of phytochrome-like proteins in the nonphotosynthetic eubacteria Deinococcus radiodurans andPseudomonas aeruginosa. Like plant phytochromes, theD. radiodurans receptor covalently binds linear tetrapyrroles autocatalytically to generate a photochromic holoprotein. However, the attachment site is distinct, using a histidine to potentially form a Schiff base linkage. Sequence homology and mutational analysis suggest that D. radioduransbacteriophytochrome functions as a light-regulated histidine kinase, which helps protect the bacterium from visible light.

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