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Front Mol Neurosci. 2017 May 30;10:165. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2017.00165. eCollection 2017.

Cryptochrome Is a Regulator of Synaptic Plasticity in the Visual System of Drosophila melanogaster.

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Department of Cell Biology and Imaging, Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Research, Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences, Jagiellonian UniversityKrakow, Poland.
Department of Biology, University of PadovaPadova, Italy.
Department of Genetics, University of Leicester LeicesterUnited Kingdom.


Drosophila CRYPTOCHROME (CRY) is a blue light sensitive protein with a key role in circadian photoreception. A main feature of CRY is that light promotes an interaction with the circadian protein TIMELESS (TIM) resulting in their ubiquitination and degradation, a mechanism that contributes to the synchronization of the circadian clock to the environment. Moreover, CRY participates in non-circadian functions such as magnetoreception, modulation of neuronal firing, phototransduction and regulation of synaptic plasticity. In the present study we used co-immunoprecipitation, yeast 2 hybrid (Y2H) and in situ proximity ligation assay (PLA) to show that CRY can physically associate with the presynaptic protein BRUCHPILOT (BRP) and that CRY-BRP complexes are located mainly in the visual system. Additionally, we present evidence that light-activated CRY may decrease BRP levels in photoreceptor termini in the distal lamina, probably targeting BRP for degradation.


active zone; bruchpilot; circadian clock; photoreceptors; tetrad synapses

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