The Potorous CPD photolyase rescues a cryptochrome-deficient mammalian circadian clock.
ABSTRACT: Despite the sequence and structural conservation between cryptochromes and photolyases, members of the cryptochrome/photolyase (flavo)protein family, their functions are divergent. Whereas photolyases are DNA repair enzymes that use visible light to lesion-specifically remove UV-induced DNA damage, cryptochromes act as photoreceptors and circadian clock proteins. To address the functional diversity of cryptochromes and photolyases, we investigated the effect of ectopically expressed Arabidopsis thaliana (6-4)PP photolyase and Potorous tridactylus CPD-photolyase (close and distant relatives of mammalian cryptochromes, respectively), on the performance of the mammalian cryptochromes in the mammalian circadian clock. Using photolyase transgenic mice, we show that Potorous CPD-photolyase affects the clock by shortening the period of behavioral rhythms. Furthermore, constitutively expressed CPD-photolyase is shown to reduce the amplitude of circadian oscillations in cultured cells and to inhibit CLOCK/BMAL1 driven transcription by interacting with CLOCK. Importantly, we show that Potorous CPD-photolyase can restore the molecular oscillator in the liver of (clock-deficient) Cry1/Cry2 double knockout mice. These data demonstrate that a photolyase can act as a true cryptochrome. These findings shed new light on the importance of the core structure of mammalian cryptochromes in relation to its function in the circadian clock and contribute to our further understanding of the evolution of the cryptochrome/photolyase protein family.
Project description:Photolyases and cryptochromes are evolutionarily related flavoproteins with distinct functions. While photolyases can repair UV-induced DNA lesions in a light-dependent manner, cryptochromes regulate growth, development and the circadian clock in plants and animals. Here we report about two photolyase-related proteins, named PhrA and PhrB, found in the phytopathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. PhrA belongs to the class III cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyases, the sister class of plant cryptochromes, while PhrB belongs to a new class represented in at least 350 bacterial organisms. Both proteins contain flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) as a primary catalytic cofactor, which is photoreduceable by blue light. Spectral analysis of PhrA confirmed the presence of 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF) as antenna cofactor. PhrB comprises also an additional chromophore, absorbing in the short wavelength region but its spectrum is distinct from known antenna cofactors in other photolyases. Homology modeling suggests that PhrB contains an Fe-S cluster as cofactor which was confirmed by elemental analysis and EPR spectroscopy. According to protein sequence alignments the classical tryptophan photoreduction pathway is present in PhrA but absent in PhrB. Although PhrB is clearly distinguished from other photolyases including PhrA it is, like PhrA, required for in vivo photoreactivation. Moreover, PhrA can repair UV-induced DNA lesions in vitro. Thus, A. tumefaciens contains two photolyase homologs of which PhrB represents the first member of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) that contains an iron-sulfur cluster.
Project description:Members of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) are widely distributed throughout all kingdoms, and encode photosensitive proteins that typically show either photoreceptor or DNA repair activity. Animal and plant cryptochromes have lost DNA repair activity and now perform specialized photoperceptory functions, for example, plant cryptochromes regulate growth and circadian rhythms, whereas mammalian and insect cryptochromes act as transcriptional repressors that control the circadian clock. However, the functional differentiation between photolyases and cryptochromes is now being questioned. Here, we show that the PtCPF1 protein from the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum shows 6-4 photoproduct repair activity and can act as a transcriptional repressor of the circadian clock in a heterologous mammalian cell system. Conversely, it seems to have a wide role in blue-light-regulated gene expression in diatoms. The protein might therefore represent a missing link in the evolution of CPFs, and act as a novel ultraviolet/blue light sensor in marine environments.
Project description:Proteins of the cryptochrome/photolyase family share high sequence similarities, common folds, and the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactor, but exhibit diverse physiological functions. Mammalian cryptochromes are essential regulatory components of the 24 h circadian clock, whereas (6-4) photolyases recognize and repair UV-induced DNA damage by using light energy absorbed by FAD. Despite increasing knowledge about physiological functions from genetic analyses, the molecular mechanisms and conformational dynamics involved in clock signaling and DNA repair remain poorly understood. The (6-4) photolyase, which has strikingly high similarity to human clock cryptochromes, is a prototypic biological system to study conformational dynamics of cryptochrome/photolyase family proteins. The entire light-dependent DNA repair process for (6-4) photolyase can be reproduced in a simple in vitro system. To decipher pivotal reactions of the common FAD cofactor, we accomplished time-resolved measurements of radical formation, diffusion, and protein conformational changes during light-dependent repair by full-length (6-4) photolyase on DNA carrying a single UV-induced damage. The (6-4) photolyase by itself showed significant volume changes after blue-light activation, indicating protein conformational changes distant from the flavin cofactor. A drastic diffusion change was observed only in the presence of both (6-4) photolyase and damaged DNA, and not for (6-4) photolyase alone or with undamaged DNA. Thus, we propose that this diffusion change reflects the rapid (50 ?s time constant) dissociation of the protein from the repaired DNA product. Conformational changes with such fast turnover would likely enable DNA repair photolyases to access the entire genome in cells.
Project description:DNA-photolyases use UV-visible light to repair DNA damage caused by UV radiation. The two major types of DNA damage are cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and 6-4 photoproducts (6-4PP), which are repaired under illumination by CPD and 6-4 photolyases, respectively. Cryptochromes are proteins related to DNA photolyases with strongly reduced or lost DNA repair activity, and have been shown to function as blue-light photoreceptors and to play important roles in circadian rhythms in plants and animals. Both photolyases and cryptochromes belong to the cryptochrome/photolyase family, and are widely distributed in all organisms. Here we describe the characterization of cry1, a member of the cryptochrome/photolyase protein family of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei. We determined that cry1 transcript accumulates when the fungus is exposed to light, and that such accumulation depends on the photoreceptor Blr1 and is modulated by Envoy. Conidia of cry1 mutants show decreased photorepair capacity of DNA damage caused by UV light. In contrast, strains over-expressing Cry1 show increased repair, as compared to the parental strain even in the dark. These observations suggest that Cry1 may be stimulating other systems involved in DNA repair, such as the nucleotide excision repair system. We show that Cry1, heterologously expressed and purified from E. coli, is capable of binding to undamaged and 6-4PP damaged DNA. Photorepair assays in vitro clearly show that Cry1 repairs 6-4PP, but not CPD and Dewar DNA lesions.
Project description:Photolyases (PHRs) and cryptochromes (CRYs) belong to the same family known as blue-light photoreceptors. Although their amino acid sequences and corresponding structures are similar to each other, they exert different functions. PHRs function as an enzyme to repair UV-induced deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) lesions such as a cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) and a (6-4) photoproduct ((6-4)pp), whereas CRYs are a circadian photoreceptor in plants and animals and at the same time they control the photoperiodic induction of flowering in plants. When a new type cryptochrome was identified, it was assumed that another type of CRYs, cryptochrome-DASH (CRY-DASH), which is categorized as a subfamily of photolyase/cryptochrome family, would possess the DNA photolyase activity. However, CRY-DASH had a weak DNA photolyase activity, but the reason for this is still unclear. To clarify the reason, we performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for a complex of CPD-PHR or CRY-DASH with damaged double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and estimated the binding free energy, ?Gbind, between the protein and the damaged dsDNA by using a molecular mechanics/Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) method. ?Gbind for both proteins were -35 and 57 kcal mol-1, respectively, indicating that the structural stability of CRY-DASH was lower than that of CPD-PHR upon the damaged dsDNA binding. In particular, the number of amino acid residues relevant to the damaged dsDNA binding on the CRY-DASH surface was smaller than that on CPD-PHR. Therefore, the present result suggests that CRY-DASH has a weak DNA photolyase activity because it has a lower binding affinity than CPD-PHR.
Project description:UVB irradiation induces harmful photochemical reactions, including formation of Cyclobutane Pyrimidine Dimers (CPDs) in DNA. Accumulation of unrepaired CPD lesions causes inflammation, premature ageing and skin cancer. Photolyases are DNA repair enzymes that can rapidly restore DNA integrity in a light-dependent process called photoreactivation, but these enzymes are absent in humans. Here, we present a novel mRNA-based gene therapy method that directs synthesis of a marsupial, Potorous tridactylus, CPD-photolyase in cultured human keratinocytes. Pseudouridine was incorporated during in vitro transcription to make the mRNA non-immunogenic and highly translatable. Keratinocytes transfected with lipofectamine-complexed mRNA expressed photolyase in the nuclei for at least 2days. Exposing photolyase mRNA-transfected cells to UVB irradiation resulted in significantly less CPD in those cells that were also treated with photoreactivating light, which is required for photolyase activity. The functional photolyase also diminished other UVB-mediated effects, including induction of IL-6 and inhibition of cell proliferation. These results demonstrate that pseudouridine-containing photolyase mRNA is a powerful tool to repair UVB-induced DNA lesions. The pseudouridine-modified mRNA approach has a strong potential to discern cellular effects of CPD in UV-related cell biological studies. The mRNA-based transient expression of proteins offers a number of opportunities for future application in medicine.
Project description:Cryptochromes use near-UV/blue light to regulate a variety of growth and adaptive process. Recent biochemical studies demonstrate that the Cryptochrome-Drosophila, Arabidopsis, Synechocystis, Human (Cry-DASH) subfamily of cryptochromes have photolyase activity exclusively for single-stranded cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD)-containing DNA substrate [Selby C, Sancar A (2006) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:17696-17700]. The crystal structure of cryptochrome 3 from Arabidopsis thaliana (At-Cry3), a member of the Cry-DASH proteins, at 2.1 A resolution, reveals that both the light-harvesting cofactor 5,10-methenyl-tetrahydrofolyl-polyglutamate (MTHF) and the catalytic cofactor flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are noncovalently bound to the protein. The residues responsible for binding of MTHF in At-Cry3 are not conserved in Escherichia coli photolyase but are strongly conserved in the Cry-DASH subfamily of cryptochromes. The distance and orientation between MTHF and flavin adenine dinucleotide in At-Cry3 is similar to that of E. coli photolyase, in conjunction with the presence of electron transfer chain, suggesting the conservation of redox activity in At-Cry3. Two amino acid substitutions and the penetration of three charged side chains into the CPD-binding cavity in At-Cry3 alter the hydrophobic environment that is accommodating the hydrophobic sugar ring and thymine base moieties in class I CPD photolyases. These changes most likely make CPD binding less energetically favorable and, hence, insufficient to compete with pairing and stacking interactions between the CPD and the duplex DNA substrate. Thus, Cry-DASH subfamily proteins may be unable to stabilize CPD flipped out from the duplex DNA substrate but may be able to preserve the DNA repair activity toward single-stranded CPD-containing DNA substrate.
Project description:Cryptochromes (CRYs) are composed of a core domain with structural similarity to photolyase and a distinguishing C-terminal extension. While plant and fly CRYs act as circadian photoreceptors, using the C terminus for light signaling, mammalian CRY1 and CRY2 are integral components of the circadian oscillator. However, the function of their C terminus remains to be resolved. Here, we show that the C-terminal extension of mCRY1 harbors a nuclear localization signal and a putative coiled-coil domain that drive nuclear localization via two independent mechanisms and shift the equilibrium of shuttling mammalian CRY1 (mCRY1)/mammalian PER2 (mPER2) complexes towards the nucleus. Importantly, deletion of the complete C terminus prevents mCRY1 from repressing CLOCK/BMAL1-mediated transcription, whereas a plant photolyase gains this key clock function upon fusion to the last 100 amino acids of the mCRY1 core and its C terminus. Thus, the acquirement of different (species-specific) C termini during evolution not only functionally separated cryptochromes from photolyase but also caused diversity within the cryptochrome family.
Project description:DASH (Drosophila, Arabidopsis, Synechocystis, Human)-type cryptochromes (cry-DASH) belong to a family of flavoproteins acting as repair enzymes for UV-B-induced DNA lesions (photolyases) or as UV-A/blue light photoreceptors (cryptochromes). They are present in plants, bacteria, various vertebrates, and fungi and were originally considered as sensory photoreceptors because of their incapability to repair cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) lesions in duplex DNA. However, cry-DASH can repair CPDs in single-stranded DNA, but their role in DNA repair in vivo remains to be clarified. The genome of the fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus contains a single gene for a protein of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) encoding a cry-DASH, cryA, despite its ability to photoreactivate. Here, we show that cryA expression is induced by blue light in a Mad complex-dependent manner. Moreover, we demonstrate that CryA is capable of binding flavin (FAD) and methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF), fully complements the Escherichia coli photolyase mutant and repairs in vitro CPD lesions in single-stranded and double-stranded DNA with the same efficiency. These results support a role for Phycomyces cry-DASH as a photolyase and suggest a similar role for cry-DASH in mucoromycotina fungi.
Project description:Photolyases and cryptochromes are evolutionarily related flavoproteins, which however perform distinct physiological functions. Photolyases (PHR) are evolutionarily ancient enzymes. They are activated by light and repair DNA damage caused by UV radiation. Although cryptochromes share structural similarity with DNA photolyases, they lack DNA repair activity. Cryptochrome (CRY) is one of the key elements of the circadian system in animals. In plants, CRY acts as a blue light receptor to entrain circadian rhythms, and mediates a variety of light responses, such as the regulation of flowering and seedling growth.We performed a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of the CRY/PHR superfamily. The superfamily consists of 7 major subfamilies: CPD class I and CPD class II photolyases, (6-4) photolyases, CRY-DASH, plant PHR2, plant CRY and animal CRY. Although the whole superfamily evolved primarily under strong purifying selection (average ? = 0.0168), some subfamilies did experience strong episodic positive selection during their evolution. Photolyases were lost in higher animals that suggests natural selection apparently became weaker in the late stage of evolutionary history. The evolutionary time estimates suggested that plant and animal CRYs evolved in the Neoproterozoic Era (~1000-541 Mya), which might be a result of adaptation to the major climate and global light regime changes occurred in that period of the Earth's geological history.