Title: Structures and light signaling mechanisms of bilin-based photoreceptors.
Abstract: Light is a fundamental environmental signal for living organisms on earth. Photoreceptors are signaling proteins that perceive and convert a light signal into a biological signal, thereby modulating cellular functions in response to light. Bilin-binding photoreceptors were first discovered and characterized as red-light photoreceptors in plants. Thanks to recent genome sequencing efforts, the superfamily of bilin-binding photoreceptors has been significantly expanded. They have been found in a wide range of microorganisms and exhibit extraordinary versatility in terms of action spectra, domain architecture and signaling properties. In this talk, I will present how we use static and dynamic crystallography to study the structural basis of light signaling mechanism in bacteriophytochromes, the classical bilin-binding photoreceptors. I will also discuss our on-going efforts to understand how color perception, signal integration and long-range signaling are achieved in multi-sensor cyanobacteriochromes at the molecular level.
Cm-Bio 3-17 Yang