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Science 297 (5582): 840-843

Copyright © 2002 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

White Collar-1, a DNA Binding Transcription Factor and a Light Sensor

Qiyang He,1* Ping Cheng,1* Yuhong Yang,1 Lixing Wang,1 Kevin H. Gardner,2 Yi Liu1dagger

Blue light regulates many physiological processes in fungi, but their photoreceptors are not known. In Neurospora crassa, all light responses depend on the Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) domain-containing transcription factor white collar-1 (wc-1). By removing the WC-1 light, oxygen, or voltage domain, a specialized PAS domain that binds flavin mononucleotide in plant phototropins, we show that light responses are abolished, including light entrainment of the circadian clock. However, the WC-1-mediated dark activation of frq remains normal in this mutant, and the circadian clock can be entrained by temperature. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the purified Neurospora WC-1-WC-2 protein complex is associated with stoichiometric amounts of the chromophore flavin-adenine dinucleotide. Together, these observations suggest that WC-1 is the blue-light photoreceptor for the circadian clock and other light responses in Neurospora.

1 Department of Physiology,
2 Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.
*   These authors contributed equally to this work.

dagger    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: Yi.Liu{at}

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