Double Duty

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Science  23 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5427, pp. 493
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5427.493g

The photosensitive protein cryptochrome has been suggested to be an integral part of the intrinsic circadian clock in plants, insects, and mammals. It has also been proposed as the photoreceptor that transmits a light signal to reset the clock. In an in vitro replication of a portion of the circadian clock in the fruitfly Drosophila, Ceriani et al. (p. 553; see the news story by Barinaga) show that CRYPTOCHROME may actually do both. The CRPYTOCHROME protein interacts with TIMELESS, a key clock component, and sequesters it in the nucleus of cells. This biochemical action is triggered by light.

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