The Potorous CPD Photolyase Rescues a Cryptochrome-Deficient Mammalian Circadian Clock

I. Chaves, R.M. Nijman, M.A. Biernat, M.I. Bajek, K. Brand, A. Carvalho da Silva, S. Saito, K. Yagita, A.P.M. Eker, G.T.J. van der Horst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the sequence and structural conservation between cryptochromes and photolyases, members of the cryptochrome/photolyase (flavo)protein family, their functions are divergent. Whereas photolyases are DNA repair enzymes that use visible light to lesion-specifically remove UV-induced DNA damage, cryptochromes act as photoreceptors and circadian clock proteins. To address the functional diversity of cryptochromes and photolyases, we investigated the effect of ectopically expressed Arabidopsis thaliana (6-4)PP photolyase and Potorous tridactylus CPD-photolyase (close and distant relatives of mammalian cryptochromes, respectively), on the performance of the mammalian cryptochromes in the mammalian circadian clock. Using photolyase transgenic mice, we show that Potorous CPD-photolyase affects the clock by shortening the period of behavioral rhythms. Furthermore, constitutively expressed CPD-photolyase is shown to reduce the amplitude of circadian oscillations in cultured cells and to inhibit CLOCK/BMAL1 driven transcription by interacting with CLOCK. Importantly, we show that Potorous CPD-photolyase can restore the molecular oscillator in the liver of (clock-deficient) Cry1/Cry2 double knockout mice. These data demonstrate that a photolyase can act as a true cryptochrome. These findings shed new light on the importance of the core structure of mammalian cryptochromes in relation to its function in the circadian clock and contribute to our further understanding of the evolution of the cryptochrome/photolyase protein family.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23447
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • light photoreceptor family
  • gene-expression
  • peripheral clock
  • biological clock
  • dna photolyase
  • skin-cancer
  • transcription
  • evolution
  • rhythms
  • repair

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