Cryptochromes modulate E2F family transcription factors

Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 5;10(1):4077. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-61087-y.


Early 2 factor (E2F) family transcription factors participate in myriad cell biological processes including: the cell cycle, DNA repair, apoptosis, development, differentiation, and metabolism. Circadian rhythms influence many of these phenomena. Here we find that a mammalian circadian rhythm component, Cryptochrome 2 (CRY2), regulates E2F family members. Furthermore, CRY1 and CRY2 cooperate with the E3 ligase complex SKP-CULLIN-FBXL3 (SCFFBXL3) to reduce E2F steady state protein levels. These findings reveal an unrecognized molecular connection between circadian clocks and cell cycle regulation and highlight another mechanism to maintain appropriate E2F protein levels for proper cell growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Cryptochromes / physiology*
  • E2F Transcription Factors / genetics
  • E2F Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligase Complexes / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligase Complexes / metabolism*


  • Cry1 protein, mouse
  • Cry2 protein, mouse
  • Cryptochromes
  • E2F Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligase Complexes