Submitted to: EMBO Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/21/2002
Publication Date: 6/1/2002
Citation: Huq, E., Quail, P.H. 2002. PIF4, a phytochrome-interacting bHLH factor, functions as a negative regulator of phytochrome B signaling in Arabidopsis. EMBO Journal (21(10):2441-2450. Interpretive Summary: We have identified a new member of the basic helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors, PIF4, that interacts specifically with the biologically active form of phytochrome B (phyB), and have shown that this factor functions in phyB signaling.
Technical Abstract: Plants sense and respond to red and far-red light using the phytochrome (phy) family of photoreceptors. However, the mechanism of light signal transduction is not well defined. Here, we report the identification of a new mutant Arabidopsis locus, srl2 (short under red-light 2), which confers selective hypersensitivity to continuous red, but not far-red, light. This hypersensitivity is eliminated in srl2phyB, but not srl2phyA, double mutants, indicating that this locus functions selectively and negatively in phyB signaling. The SRL2 gene encodes a bHLH factor, designated PIF4 (phytochrome-interacting factor 4), which binds selectively to the biologically active Pfr form of phyB, but has little affinity for phyA. Despite its hypersensitive morphological phenotype, the srl2 mutant displays no perturbation of light-induced expression of marker genes for chloroplast development. These data suggest that PIF4 may function specifically in a branch of the phyB signaling network that regulates a subset of genes involved in cell expansion. Consistent with this proposal, PIF4 localizes to the nucleus and can bind to a G-box DNA sequence motif found in various light-regulated promoters.