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Nat Neurosci. 2004 Aug;7(8):834-40. Epub 2004 Jul 18.

A constitutively active cryptochrome in Drosophila melanogaster.

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Department of Biology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.


Light-activated cryptochrome (CRY) regulates circadian photoresponses in Drosophila melanogaster. Removing the carboxy (C) terminus to create CRYDelta produces, in yeast, a light-independent, constitutively active form. Here we show that flies overexpressing CRYDelta have a longer free-running period of locomotor activity, as well as altered cycling kinetics of the clock proteins timeless (TIM) and period (PER). Moreover, at the cellular level, they show a reduction in the level of TIM and in the nuclear localization of TIM and PER in two significant clusters of behavioral pacemaker cells: the large and the small ventral lateral neurons (LN(v)s). These effects are similar to those seen in wild-type flies under continuous light and suggest a regulatory role for the C terminus of CRY on the photosensitive, photolyase-like part of the protein.

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