Molecular evolution of the photolyase-blue-light photoreceptor family

J Mol Evol. 1997 Nov;45(5):535-48. doi: 10.1007/pl00006258.


The photolyase-blue-light photoreceptor family is composed of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyases, (6-4) photolyases, and blue-light photoreceptors. CPD photolyase and (6-4) photolyase are involved in photoreactivation for CPD and (6-4) photoproducts, respectively. CPD photolyase is classified into two subclasses, class I and II, based on amino acid sequence similarity. Blue-light photoreceptors are essential light detectors for the early development of plants. The amino acid sequence of the receptor is similar to those of the photolyases, although the receptor does not show the activity of photoreactivation. To investigate the functional divergence of the family, the amino acid sequences of the proteins were aligned. The alignment suggested that the recognition mechanisms of the cofactors and the substrate of class I CPD photolyases (class I photolyases) are different from those of class II CPD photolyases (class II photolyases). We reconstructed the phylogenetic trees based on the alignment by the NJ method and the ML method. The phylogenetic analysis suggested that the ancestral gene of the family had encoded CPD photolyase and that the gene duplication of the ancestral proteins had occurred at least eight times before the divergence between eubacteria and eukaryotes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase / classification
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase / physiology*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • pyrimidine(6-4)pyrimidone photolyase
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase