Evolution of Proteins of the DNA Photolyase/Cryptochrome Family

Biochemistry (Mosc). 2020 Jan;85(Suppl 1):S131-S153. doi: 10.1134/S0006297920140072.


Proteins of the cryptochrome/DNA photolyase family (CPF) are phylogenetically related and structurally conserved flavoproteins that perform various functions. DNA photolyases repair DNA damage caused by UV-B radiation by exposure to UV-A/blue light simultaneously or subsequently. Cryptochromes are photoreceptor proteins regulating circadian clock, morphogenesis, phototaxis, and other responses to UV and blue light in various organisms. The review describes the structure and functions of CPF proteins, their evolutionary relationship, and possible functions of the CPF ancestor protein.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks
  • Cryptochromes / chemistry*
  • Cryptochromes / classification
  • Cryptochromes / physiology*
  • DNA Damage / radiation effects
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase / chemistry*
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase / classification
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase / physiology*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Cryptochromes
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase