Intracellular trafficking of photoreceptors during light-induced signal transduction in plants

F Nagy, S Kircher, E Schäfer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plants monitor changes in the ambient light environment by highly specialised photoreceptors, which include the red/far-red photoreversible phytochromes, the blue-light-absorbing cryptochromes and phototropin and the so-far-unidentified UVB photoreceptor(s). Light easily penetrates plant organs/tissues and reaches even the subcellular compartments of various cell types. Therefore, it is not surprising that the determination of the intracellular localisation of photoreceptors has been, for many years, a major, and often controversial, subject of plant photobiology and cell biology research. Phototropin, one of the blue-light photoreceptors of higher plants, controls phototropism by monitoring the direction of light, and it is localised in or at the plasmalemma. In contrast, the subcellular localisation of phytochromes changes dynamically and exhibits a very complex pattern. These photoreceptors are localised in the cytosol in dark- grown tissues. Irradiation, however, induces import of phytochromes into the nucleus. The import occurs in a light-quality- and light-quantity-dependent fashion and, as such, seems to be unique to higher plants. Light-induced accumulation of phytochromes in the nuclei correlates well with various physiological responses mediated by these photoreceptors. These observations indicate that light-dependent intracellular redistribution of phytochrome photoreceptors is one of the major regulatory steps in photomorphogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-80
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue numberPt 3
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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