cryptochromes

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cryptochromes

[′krip·tə‚krōm]
(cell and molecular biology)
Light-sensitive proteins found in both plants and animals that detect and change conformation in response to blue light; in animals, they play an important role in circadian rhythm.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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An initial 25 lead SNPs were followed up in 76 558 additional study participants, and 9 new loci were found to be associated (P < 5 x [10.sup.-8]) with fasting glucose (and/or HOMA-B) [adenylate cyclase 5 (ADCY5); MAP-kinase activating death domain (MADD); cryptochrome 2 (photolyase-like) (CRY2); adrenergic, alpha-2A-, receptor (ADRA2A); fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1); prospero homeobox 1 (PROX1); solute carrier family 2 (facilitated glucose transporter), member 2 (SLC2A2); GLIS family zinc finger 3 (GLIS3); and C2 calcium-dependent domain containing 4B (C2CD4B)] and 1 was found to be associated with fasting insulin and HOMA-IR concentrations [insulin-like growth factor 1 (somatomedin C) (IGF1)].
Cryptochrome showed a top peak at 450 nm, a wavelength close to the blue light; under these conditions, more [P.sub.r] transformed into [P.sub.fr] for phenyletanoid glycosides production (Ouyang et al., 2003).
Here we aim to review the recent advances in this field focusing primarily on (i) structure of cryptochromes, (ii) behavioral experiments and electrophysiological evidences supporting the radical pair mechanism and the cryptochrome magnetoreception, (iii) the structural biology and the functional photochemical process of cryptochrome, (iv) the signal transfer mechanism in animals.
1996 Seeing blue: The discovery of cryptochrome. Plant Molecular Biology 30, 851-861.
A particular biological clock protein -- cryptochrome -- is actually regulating how the hormone that controls glucose production in the liver works in a specific way.
The molecule, cryptochrome, acts as a light receptor and is sensitive to blue and ultraviolet light.
In this case, the changes in circadian function would reflect either a global loss of SCN cells or alterations in the rhythmic activation (i.e., expression) of specific genes that are essential gears of the clockworks, such as the Period and Cryptochrome genes, without which the clock does not work.
Known as cryptochrome, the pigment regulates mammals' circadian rhythm, the 24-hour biological clock that regulates processes like body temperature, blood pressure, and intellectual performance.
Basically, there need to be two components, a DNA-binding protein fusing to a light-sensitive cryptochrome protein, and a chromatin modifier fusing to a cryptochrome protein interaction partner, vice versa.
In this loop, the transcription of the Period (Perl and Per2) and Cryptochrome (Cryl and Cry2) genes is initiated through the CLOCK: :BMAL1 transcription factor complex acting on E-box enhancer elements in the promoter regions of Per and Cry (and many other circadian-regulated genes).
Four period (perla, perlb, per2, and per3), 6 cryptochrome (cry1a, cry1b, cry2a, cry2b, cry3, and cry4), 3 clock (clock1a, clock1b, and clock2), and 3 bmal (bmal1a, bmal1b, and bmal2) genes have been cloned from D.