Mammalian cryptochromes impinge on cell cycle progression in a circadian clock-independent manner

Evgin Destici, Gosia Oklejewicz, S Saito, Bert van der Horst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

21 Citations (Scopus)


By gating cell cycle progression to specific times of the day, the intracellular circadian clock is thought to reduce the exposure of replicating cells to potentially hazardous environmental and endogenous genotoxic compounds. Although core clock gene defects that eradicate circadian rhythmicity can cause an altered in vivo genotoxic stress response and aberrant proliferation rate, it remains to be determined to what extent these cell cycle related phenotypes are due to a cell-autonomous lack of circadian oscillations. We investigated the DNA damage sensitivity and proliferative capacity of cultured primary Cry1(-/-)vertical bar Cry(2-/-) fibroblasts. Contrasting previous in vivo studies, we show that the absence of CRY proteins does not affect the cell-autonomous DNA damage response upon exposure of primary cells in vitro to genotoxic agents, but causes cells to proliferate faster. By comparing primary wild-type, Cry1(-/-)vertical bar Cry(2-/-), Cry1(+/-)vertical bar Cry(2-/-) and Cry1(-/-)vertical bar Cry2(+/-) fibroblasts, we provide evidence that CRY proteins influence cell cycle progression in a cell-autonomous, but circadian clock-independent manner and that the accelerated cell cycle progression of Cry-deficient cells is caused by global dysregulation of Bmal1-dependent gene expression. These results suggest that the inconsistency between in vivo and in vitro observations might be attributed to systemic circadian control rather than a direct cell-autonomous control.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)3788-3797
Number of pages10
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Research programs

  • EMC MGC-01-12-03

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