Spatial and circadian regulation of cry in Drosophila. Academic Article uri icon


  • In Drosophila, cryptochrome (cry) encodes a blue-light photoreceptor that mediates light input to circadian oscillators and sustains oscillator function in peripheral tissues. The levels of cry mRNA cycle with a peak at approximately ZT5, which is similar to the phase of Clock (Clk) mRNA cycling in Drosophila. To understand how cry spatial and circadian expression is regulated, a series of cry-Gal4 trans-genes containing different portions of cry upstream and intron 1 sequences were tested for spatial and circadian expression. In fly heads, cry upstream sequences drive constitutive expression in brain oscillator neurons, a novel group of nonoscillator cells in the optic lobe, and peripheral oscillator cells in eyes and antennae. In contrast, cry intron 1 drives rhythmic expression in eyes and antennae, but not brain oscillator neurons. These results demonstrate that intron 1 is sufficient for high-amplitude cry mRNA cycling, show that cry upstream sequences are sufficient for expression in brain oscillator neurons, and suggest that cry spatial and circadian expression are regulated by different elements.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Rhythms

author list (cited authors)

  • Hao Zheng, .., Ng, F., Yixiao Liu, .., & Hardin, P. E.

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Ng, Fanny||Hardin, Paul E

publication date

  • August 2008