Enamul Huq

Molecular Biosciences

Phone: 512-471-9848

Office Location

Postal Address
100 E. 24th Street Stop A5000
Austin, TX 78712

Dr. Enamul Huq received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Biochemistry from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1987 and 1988, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Purdue University in 1997. As a graduate student in Dr. Thomas K. Hodges lab, he worked on characterizing hypoxia inducible gene expression in rice. He did his post-doctoral research with Dr. Peter Quail at UC Berkeley, where he isolated and characterized phytochrome interacting factors (PIFs) in Arabidopsis.

Dr. Huq began his academic career as an Assistant Professor of Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology (MCDB) at The University of Texas at Austin in 2003 and is now a Professor of MBS. Research in the Huq lab is focused on understanding how plants sense, interpret and respond to environmental light conditions that regulate almost every aspect of the plant life cycle from seed germination to flowering time. Specifically, the Huq lab focuses on the red/far-red light photoreceptors (phytochromes) and their interacting factors (Phytochrome Interacting Factors, PIFs) to understand early signaling events that regulate a large number of gene expression and ultimately leads to photomorphogenesis.

Research Summary:

Our research is aimed at understanding light signal transduction, specifically those pathways mediated by the phytochrome (phy) family of sensory photoreceptors that absorb light in the red and far-red region of the spectrum. The phy system, consisting of five members in Arabidopsis (phyA-phyE), controls almost every aspect of the plant life cycle including seed germination, de-etiolation and flowering time. To understand early phy signaling events, phy interacting factors, such as PIF1, have been isolated and characterized. PIF1 is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor that interacts strongly with the biologically active form of phyA and phyB. PIF1 overexpression and pif1 mutants showed defective seedling de-etiolation including, aberrant hypocotyl elongation and developmentally regulated loss of greening, suggesting that PIF1 is a key regulator of the phy-mediated control of seedling de-etiolation process. Future projects include investigating the molecular function of PIF1, identifying and functionally characterizing PIF1 interacting proteins and PIF1 target genes using biochemical, genetic and functional genomic approaches.


2017 Xin R, Zhu L, Salomé PA, Mancini E, Marshall C, Harmon FG, Yanovsky MJ, Weigel D, Huq E. SPF45-related SPLICING FACTOR FOR PHYTOCHROME SIGNALING promotes photomorphogenesis by regulating pre-mRNA splicing in Arabidopsis. PNAS 114 (33) :E7018-E7027.
2017 Paik I, Kathare PK, Kim J-I, Huq E. Expanding Roles of PIFs in Signal Integration from Multiple Processes. Mol Plant. 10 (8) :1035-1046.
2017 Xu X, Kathare PK, Pham VN, Nguyen A, Bu Q, Huq E. Reciprocal proteasome-mediated degradation of PIFs and HFR1 underlies photomorphogenic development in Arabidopsis. Development 144 (10) :1831-1840.
2017 Shor E, Paik I, Kangisser S, Green R, Huq E. Phytochrome interacting factors (PIFs) mediate metabolic regulation of the circadian system in Arabidopsis. New Phytologist. 215 (1) :217-228.
2017 Possart, A., Xu, T., Paik, I., Hanke, S., Keim, S., Hermann, H-M., Wolf, L., Hiss, M., Becker, C., Huq, E., Rensing, S.A. and Hiltbrunner, A. Characterization of Phytochrome Interacting Factors from the moss Physcomitrella patens illustrates conservation of phytochrome signaling modules in land plants. Plant Cell 29: 310-330.

2016 Zhu, L., Xin, R., Bu, Q., Shen, H., Dang, J. and Huq, E. A negative feedback loop between PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORs and HECATEs fine tunes photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 28(4):855-874.

2016 Sharma, N., Xin, R., Kim, D-H., Sung, S., Lange, T. and Huq, E. NO FLOWERING IN SHORT DAY (NFL) is a bHLH transcription factor that promotes flowering specifically under short-day conditions in Arabidopsis. Development 143(4): 682-690.

2015 Xu X, Paik I, Zhu L, Huq E. Illuminating progress in phytochrome-mediated light signaling pathways. Trends in Plant Science 20:641-650.

2015 Zhu L, Bu Q, Xu X, Paik I, Hunag X, Hoecker U, Deng XW, Huq E. CUL4 forms an E3 ligase with COP1 and SPA to promote light-induced degradation of PIF1. Nature Communications. 6:7245

2015 Sheerin DJ, Menon C, Zur Oven-Krockhaus S, Enderle B, Zhu L, Johnen P, Schleifenbaum F, Stierhof Y-D, Huq E, Hiltbrunner A. Light-Activated Phytochrome A and B Interact with Members of the SPA Family to Promote Photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis by Reorganizing the COP1/SPA Complex. Plant Cell. 27(1):189-201

2014 Xu, X., Paik, I., Zhu, L., Bu, Q., Huang, X., Deng, X.W. and Huq, E., PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR1 enhances the E3 ligase activity of CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 to synergistically repress photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 26(5):1992-2006.

2012 Mulekar, J.J., Bu, Q., Chen, F., and Huq, E., Casein Kinase II a subunits affect multiple developmental and stress-responsive pathways in Arabidopsis. Plant J. 69: 343–354.

2011 Bu, Q., Zhu, L., Dennis, M., Yu, L., Lu, S.X., Person, M.D., Tobin, E.M., Browning, K. and Huq, E., Phosphorylation by CK2 enhances the rapid light-induced degradation of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 1 in Arabidopsis, J. Biol. Chem. 286: 12066-12074.

2010 Toledo-Ortíz, G., Huq, E. and Rodríguez-Concepción, M., Direct regulation of phytoene synthase gene expression and carotenoid biosynthesis by Phytochrome-Interacting Factors., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107: 11626-11631

2008 Shen, H., Ling, Z., Castillon, A., Majee, M., Downie, B. and Huq, E. , Light-induced phosphorylation and degradation of the negative regulator PIF1 depends upon its direct physical interactions with photoactivated phytochromes, Plant Cell 20: 1586-1602

2004 Huq, E., Al-Sady, B., Hudson, M.E., Kim, C., Apel, K. and Quail, P.H. , PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 1 is a critical bHLH regulator of chlorophyll biosynthesis. , Science 305: 1937-1941.