Student Author(s)

Lauren E. Foley

GSBS Program

Neuroscience

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology

Date

6-21-2011

Document Type

Article

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Animals, Genetically Modified; Choice Behavior; Cryptochromes; Drosophila; Humans; *Light; *Magnetics; Motor Activity; Retina; Sensation

Disciplines

Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Neuroscience and Neurobiology

Abstract

Humans are not believed to have a magnetic sense, even though many animals use the Earth's magnetic field for orientation and navigation. One model of magnetosensing in animals proposes that geomagnetic fields are perceived by light-sensitive chemical reactions involving the flavoprotein cryptochrome (CRY). Here we show using a transgenic approach that human CRY2, which is heavily expressed in the retina, can function as a magnetosensor in the magnetoreception system of Drosophila and that it does so in a light-dependent manner. The results show that human CRY2 has the molecular capability to function as a light-sensitive magnetosensor and reopen an area of sensory biology that is ready for further exploration in humans.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Nat Commun. 2011 Jun 21;2:356. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1364. Link to article on publisher's site

Comments

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed