Cong Li, co-first author of “Mutual upregulation of HY5 and TZP in mediating phytochrome A signaling”
Current Position: Postdoc, China Agricultural University
Education: B.S. (2014) from Hebei Agricultural University; Ph.D. (2019) from China Agricultural University
Non-scientific Interests: Playing table tennis, Watching movies
Brief bio: After finishing my undergraduate study at Hebei Agricultural University, I had the good fortune to join Prof. Jigang Li’s lab at China Agricultural University to pursue my Ph.D. degree. A series of studies related to phyA signaling have been performed in Prof. Li’s lab, and I was fortunate to join one of these projects to screen for new regulators of phyA signaling by the forward genetic approach. My Ph.D. work identified that TZP acts as a key component of phyA signaling that physically interacts with the phyA photoreceptor and is required for the formation of the phosphorylated phyA form in vivo. That work was published in 2018 by The Plant Cell (30: 835–852), and I was the co-first author of that paper. In addition, I have been working in collaboration with Dr. Lijuan Qi to further investigate the action mechanisms of TZP in phyA signaling. We uncovered a mutual relationship between TZP and HY5 in transmitting the far-red light signal: HY5 mediates FR light induction of TZP expression by directly binding to a G-box motif in the TZP promoter, while TZP post-translationally promotes HY5 protein abundance in FR light by competing with HY5 for binding to COP1 as another substrate. Our study provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms of the enigmatic phyA signaling networks.
2014年从河北农业大学获得学士学位后，我很幸运加入了中国农业大学生物学院李继刚教授实验室进行博士研究生的学习。李老师实验室开展了多项关于phyA信号转导机制的研究，我的博士论文课题是通过正向遗传学的方法筛选参与远红光信号转导的新组分。我们很幸运鉴定到了一个phyA信号途径的新调控因子TZP，发现其参与调控phyA光受体在体内的磷酸化，并阐明磷酸化的phyA可能是活性更强的形式。该研究成果在2018年发表于Plant Cell杂志 (30: 835–852)，我是该论文的共同第一作者。除此之外，我还与齐立娟博士合作，对TZP调控远红光信号转导的分子机制进行了深入研究。我们的研究阐明了TZP与HY5在远红光信号途径中的相互促进关系：HY5直接结合TZP启动子的G-box，在远红光下激活TZP基因的表达；而TZP作为COP1的底物与HY5竞争结合COP1，在翻译后水平促进HY5蛋白的积累。本研究揭示了HY5和TZP这两个远红光信号途径正调控因子的相互关系，为解析复杂而微妙的phyA信号调控网络提供了新的见解。