Nature online: November 13, 2011

Nature online: November 13, 2011
Structure of full-length Drosophila cryptochrom
Brian D. Zoltowski, Anand T. Vaidya, Deniz Top, Joanne Widom, Michael W. Young and Brian R. Crane

Here, we report a 2.3-Å resolution crystal structure of Drosophila CRY with an intact C terminus. The C-terminal helix docks in the analogous groove that binds DNA substrates in PLs. Conserved Trp 536 juts into the CRY catalytic centre to mimic PL recognition of DNA photolesions. The FAD anionic semiquinone found in the crystals assumes a conformation to facilitate restructuring of the tail helix. These results help reconcile the diverse functions of the CRY/PL family by demonstrating how conserved protein architecture and photochemistry can be elaborated into a range of light-driven functions.

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