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Oncogene. 2002 Dec 16;21(58):9043-56.

Photolyase/cryptochrome blue-light photoreceptors use photon energy to repair DNA and reset the circadian clock.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, NC 27599-7260, USA.


Blue light governs a number of cellular responses in bacteria, plants, and animals, including photoreactivation, plant development, and circadian photoentrainment. These activities are mediated by a family of highly conserved flavoproteins, the photolyase/cryptochrome family. Photolyase binds to UV photoproducts in DNA and repairs them in a process called photoreactivation in which blue light is used to initiate a cyclic electron transfer to break bonds and restore the integrity of DNA. Cryptochrome, which has a high degree of sequence identity to photolyase, works as the main circadian photoreceptor and as a component of the molecular clock in animals, including mammals, and regulates growth and development in plants.

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