Cullin, NEDD8, Photomorphogenesis, Phytochrome, RUB, Ubiquitin


Cell Biology | Plant Sciences


In plants, the small protein related to ubiquitin (RUB) modifies cullin (CUL) proteins in ubiquitin E3 ligases to allow for efficient transfer of ubiquitin to substrate proteins for degradation by the 26S proteasome. At the molecular level, the conjugation of RUB to individual CUL proteins is transient in nature, which aids in the stability of the cullins and adaptor proteins. Many changes in cellular processes occur within the plant upon exposure to light, including well-documented changes in the stability of individual proteins. However, overall activity of E3 ligases between dark- and light-grown seedlings has not been assessed in plants. In order to understand more about the activity of the protein degradation pathway, overall levels of RUB-modified CULs were measured in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings growing in different light conditions. We found that light influenced the global levels of RUBylation on CULs, but not uniformly. Blue light had little effect on both Cul1 and Cul3 RUBylation levels. However, red light directed the increase in Cul3 RUBylation levels, but not Cul1. This red-light regulation of Cul3 was at least partially dependent on the activation of the phytochrome B signaling pathway. The results indicate that the RUBylation levels on individual CULs change in response to different light conditions, which enable plants to fine-tune their growth and development to the various light environments.

Original Citation

Christians, M. J., Rottier, A., & Wiersma, C. (2018). Light Regulates the RUBylation Levels of Individual Cullin Proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter, 36(1), 123–134.