Phytochrome-interacting ankyrin repeat protein 2 modulates phytochrome A-mediated PIF3 phosphorylation in light signal transduction

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Light signals recognized by phytochromes are transduced through interactions between down-stream signaling components. Phytochrome-interacting ankyrin repeat protein 2 (PIA2) was found to interact with phytochrome interacting factor 3 (PIF3), a well-known repressor of plant photomorphogenesis in response to phytochrome-mediated light signalling. Both PIA2 and PIF3 are known to be positive regulators of anthocyanin accumulation in Arabidopsis seedlings under far-red conditions. Thus, we investigated the functional relationship between PIA2 and PIF3 in light signalling. We found that PIA2 suppressed PIF3 phosphorylation by phyA. To elucidate how PIA2 modulates phyA-mediated PIF3 phosphorylation, we generated non-phosphorylation mutants and N-terminal α-helix breaking mutants of PIA2. PIF3 phosphorylation by phyA was not suppressed by α-helix breaking PIA2 mutants. The α-helix breaking mutations also resulted in remarkably decreased interactions between PIA2 and PIF3. However, the non-phosphorylation mutants exhibited no effect on phyA-mediated PIF3 phosphorylation. In addition, decreased anthocyanin accumulation in pia2 knockout plant seedlings was not rescued by overexpression of the α-helix breaking mutant in transgenic plants under far-red conditions. These results suggest that PIA2 modulates phyA-mediated PIF3 phosphorylation by physical interaction with PIF3 and that the secondary structure of the PIA2 N-terminus is important in this modulation.

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