Plant cryptochromes (cry) are blue-light photoreceptors involved in multiple signaling pathways and various photomorphogenic responses. One biologically hyperactive mutant of a plant cryptochrome that was previously characterized is Arabidopsis cry1L407F (Exner et al. in Plant Physiol 154:1633–1645, 2010). Protein sequence alignments of different cryptochromes revealed that L407 in cry1 corresponds to I404 in cry2. Point mutation of Ile to Phe in cry2 in this position created a novel mutant. The present study provided a baseline data on the elucidation of the properties of cry2I404F. This mutant was still able to bind ATP-triggering conformational changes, as confirmed by partial tryptic digestion and thermo-FAD assays. Surprisingly, the FAD cofactor of cry2I404F was reduced by the addition of reductant even in the absence of light. In vivo, cry2I404F exhibited a cop phenotype in the dark and hypersensitivity to various light conditions compared to cry2 wild type. Overall, these data suggest that the hypersensitivity to red and blue light and hyperactivity of this novel mutant in the dark can be mostly accounted to structural alterations brought forth by the Ile to Phe mutation at position 404 that allows reduction of the flavin chromophore even in the absence of light.
The Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 I404F mutant is hypersensitive and shows flavin reduction even in the absence of light
Araguirang, G.E.; Niemann, N.; Kiontke, S.; Eckel, M.; Dionisio-Sese, M.L.; Batschauer, A. (2020). The Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 I404F mutant is hypersensitive and shows flavin reduction even in the absence of light. Planta vol. 251, article: 33 (2020)