Phototropin1 is a blue light (BL) receptor in plants and shows BL-dependent kinase activation. The BL-excited light-oxygenvoltage-sensing domain 2 (LOV2) is primarily responsible for the activation of the kinase domain; however, the molecular mechanism by which conformational changes in LOV2 are transmitted to the kinase domain remains unclear. Here, we investigated BL-induced structural changes of a minimum functional fragment of Arabidopsis phototropin1 composed of LOV2, the kinase domain, and a linker connecting the two domains using small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). The fragment existed as a dimer and displayed photoreversible SAXS changes reflected in the radii of gyration of 42.9 Å in the dark and 48.8 Å under BL irradiation. In the dark, the molecular shape reconstructed from the SAXS profiles appeared as two bean-shaped lobes in a twisted arrangement that was 170 Å long, 80 Å wide, and 50 Å thick. The molecular shape under BL became slightly elongated from that in the dark. By fitting the crystal structure of the LOV2 dimer and a homology model of the kinase domain to their inferred shapes, the BL-dependent change could be interpreted as the positional shift in the kinase domain relative to that of the LOV2 dimer. In addition, we found that lysine 475, a functionally important residue, in the N-terminal region of LOV2 plays a critical role in transmitting the structural changes in LOV2 to the kinase domain. The interface between the domains is critical for signaling, suitably changing the structure to activate the kinase in response to conformational changes in the adjoining LOV2.
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