Light, oxygen or voltage (LOV) domains function as blue-light sensors in the phototropin family of photoreceptors found in plants, algae and bacteria. We detected putative LOV domains (Alr3170-LOV, All2875-LOV and Alr1229-LOV) in the genome of a filamentous cyanobacterium, Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. These cyanobacterial LOV domains are closely clustered with the known LOV domains. Alr3170-LOV and All2875-LOV carry the conserved cysteine residue unique to the photoactive LOV, whereas Alr1229-LOV does not. We expressed these three LOV domains in Escherichia coli and purified them. In fact, Alr3170-LOV and All2875-LOV that are conserved in Nostoc punctiforme, a related species, bound flavin mononucleotide and showed spectral changes unique to known LOV domains on illumination with blue light. Alr3170-LOV was completely photoreduced and dark reversion was slow, whereas All2875-LOV was slowly photoreduced and dark reversion was rapid. For comparison, AvAll2875-LOV in a closely related A. variabilis was also studied as a homolog of All2875-LOV. Finally, we observed that Alr1229-LOV that is not conserved in N. punctiforme showed no flavin binding.
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Vol. 82 • No. 6