GSBS Student Publications


The two CRYs of the butterfly

Student Author(s)

Quan Yuan

GSBS Program


UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Reppert Lab; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Biological Clocks; Butterflies; Cell Line; Cryptochromes; DNA, Complementary; Drosophila; Expressed Sequence Tags; Flavoproteins; Gene Expression Regulation; *Light; Luciferases; *Phylogeny


Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Animal flavoproteins called cryptochromes (CRYs) are generally believed to have distinct circadian clock functions in insects and mammals. We have discovered that the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, has two cry genes: one encodes a fly-like protein with photosensitive properties, while the other encodes a mouse-like protein with potent transcriptional repressive activity. Database searches show that other non-drosophilid insects also have two cry genes. These findings change our view of how some insect clocks may work and redefine the evolution of animal CRYs.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Curr Biol. 2005 Dec 6;15(23):R953-4. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Current biology : CB

PubMed ID