Coordinated Regulation of Pre-mRNA Splicing by the SFPS-RRC1 Complex to Promote Photomorphogenesis

Light signals perceived by the phytochrome (phy) family of photoreceptors control gene expression at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels to promote photomorphogenesis. Recently, we identified a factor called SPLICING FACTOR FOR PHYTOCHROME SIGNALING (SFPS) that directly interacts with the photoreceptor phyB and regulates pre-mRNA splicing in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). To identify SFPS-interacting proteins, we performed an immunoprecipitation followed by a mass spectrometry and identified the Ser/Arg-like protein REDUCED RED-LIGHT RESPONSES IN CRY1CRY2 BACKGROUND1 (RRC1). Genetic analyses revealed that the sfps-2 rrc1-3 phenotypes are similar to those of the single mutants, suggesting that RRC1 and SFPS might function together. RNA sequence analyses of rrc1-3 identified a large number of genes whose pre-mRNA splicing is altered under dark and light conditions. Comparison of the sequence data revealed a subset of common genes coregulated by SFPS and RRC1 under dark and light conditions. Similar to SFPS, RRC1 also interacts with phyB, colocalizes in nuclear photobodies, and regulates light-dependent pre-mRNA splicing of a subset of genes. Taken together, these data suggest that although SFPS and RRC1 can regulate distinct subsets of genes, they also form a complex and coordinately control pre-mRNA splicing of a subset of genes involved in light signaling and circadian clock pathways to promote photomorphogenesis.

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