Cryptochromes: enabling plants and animals to determine circadian time

Cell. 2003 Sep 5;114(5):537-43.


Cryptochromes are flavin-containing blue light photoreceptors related to photolyases-they are found in both plants and animals and have recently been described for bacteria. In plants, cryptochromes perform a variety of functions including the entrainment of circadian rhythms. They serve a similar role in Drosophila and mammals, where the cryptochromes also perform an additional function as an essential component of the circadian clock.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Biological Clocks
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Drosophila
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Multigene Family
  • Phytochrome / chemistry*
  • Plant Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Phytochrome
  • AT2G32950 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases