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Genes Cells. 2004 May;9(5):479-95.

Identification of cryptochrome DASH from vertebrates.

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Bioinformatics Centre, Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Gokasho, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


A new type of cryptochrome, CRY-DASH, has been recently identified. The CRY-DASH proteins constitute the fifth subfamily of the photolyase/cryptochrome family. CRY-DASHs have been identified from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Vibrio cholerae, and Arabidopsis thaliana. The Synechocystis CRY-DASH was the first cryptochrome identified from bacteria, and its biochemical features and tertiary structure have been extensively investigated. To determine how broadly the subfamily is distributed within living organisms, we searched for new CRY-DASH candidates within several databases. We found five sequences as new CRY-DASH candidates, which are derived from four marine bacteria and Neurospora crassa. We also found many CRY-DASH candidates from the EST databases, which included sequences from fish and amphibians. We cloned and sequenced the cDNAs of the zebrafish and Xenopus laevis candidates, based on the EST sequences. The proteins encoded by the two genes were purified and characterized. Both proteins contained folate and flavin cofactors, and have a weak DNA photolyase activity. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that the seven candidates actually belong to the new type of cryptochrome subfamily. This is the first report of the CRY-DASH members from vertebrates and fungi.

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