A photoregulatory mechanism of the circadian clock in Arabidopsis
Host: Liu Shuo
Date: 27 Oct 2021
Cryptochromes (CRYs) are photoreceptors that mediate light regulation of the circadian clock in plants and animals. Here we show that CRYs mediate blue-light regulation of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification of more than 10% of messenger RNAs in the Arabidopsis transcriptome, especially those regulated by the circadian clock. CRY2 interacts with three subunits of the METTL3/14-type N6-methyladenosine RNA methyltransferase (m6A writer): MTA, MTB and FIP37. Photo-excited CRY2 undergoes liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) to co-condense m6A writer proteins in vivo, without obviously altering the affinity between CRY2 and the writer proteins. mta and cry1cry2 mutants share common defects of a lengthened circadian period, reduced m6A RNA methylation and accelerated degradation of mRNA encoding the core component of the molecular oscillator circadian clock associated 1 (CCA1). These results argue for a photoregulatory mechanism by which light-induced phase separation of CRYs modulates m6A writer activity, mRNA methylation and abundance, and the circadian rhythms in plants.