Sleep and Rhythms Projects

A PDZ scaffolding/CaM-mediated pathway in Cryptochrome signaling

Bellanda M, Damulewicz M, Zambelli B, Costanzi E, Gregoris F, Mammi S, Tosatto SCE, Costa R, Minervini G, Mazzotta GM

Protein Sci

Cryptochromes are cardinal constituents of the circadian clock, which orchestrates daily physiological rhythms in living organisms. A growing body of evidence points to their participation in pathways that have not traditionally been associated with circadian clock regulation, implying that cryptochromes may be subject to modulation by multiple signaling mechanisms. In this study, we demonstrate that human CRY2 (hCRY2) forms a complex with the large, modular scaffolding protein known as Multi-PDZ Domain Protein 1 (MUPP1). This interaction is facilitated by the calcium-binding protein Calmodulin (CaM) in a calcium-dependent manner. Our findings suggest a novel cooperative mechanism for the regulation of mammalian cryptochromes, mediated by calcium ions (Ca2+ ) and CaM. We propose that this Ca2+ /CaM-mediated signaling pathway may be an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that has been maintained from Drosophila to mammals, most likely in relation to its potential role in the broader context of cryptochrome function and regulation. Further, the understanding of cryptochrome interactions with other proteins and signaling pathways could lead to a better definition of its role within the intricate network of molecular interactions that govern circadian rhythms.

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