The Photolyase/Cryptochrome Family of Proteins as DNA Repair Enzymes and Transcriptional Repressors

Kavakli I. H., Baris I., Tardu M., Gül Ş., Öner H., Çal S., ...More

Photochemistry and Photobiology, vol.93, no.1, pp.93-103, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 93 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/php.12669
  • Journal Name: Photochemistry and Photobiology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.93-103
  • Bezmialem Vakıf University Affiliated: No


Light is a very important environmental factor that governs many cellular responses in organisms. As a consequence, organisms possess different kinds of light-sensing photoreceptors to regulate their physiological variables and adapt to a given habitat. The cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) includes photoreceptors that perform different functions in different organisms. Photolyases repair ultraviolet-induced DNA damage by a process known as photoreactivation using photons absorbed from the blue end of the light spectrum. On the other hand, cryptochromes act as blue light circadian photoreceptors in plants and Drosophila to regulate growth and development. In mammals, cryptochromes have light-independent functions and are very important transcriptional regulators that act at the molecular level as negative transcriptional regulators of the circadian clock. In this review, we highlight current knowledge concerning the structural and functional relationships of CPF members.