The role of Cryptochrome in neuronal transmission and network interactions in Drosophila melanogaster

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: College of Lifesciences


The circadian clock is an endogenous oscillator which propagates 24-hour rhythms in our physiology and behaviour. Such rhythms are entrained by environmental cues and function to anticipate ambient changes in light and temperature. The clock operates through a transcriptional-translational feedback loop to regulate the rhythmic expression of clock genes. In Drosophila melanogaster, CLOCK and CYCLE function as positive regulators of the feedback loop, whereas PERIOD and TIMLESS function as negative regulators. CRYPTOCHROME (CRY), a blue-light sensitive protein, serves as a circadian photoreceptor in Drosophila. In the presence of light, CRY initiates the degradation of TIMELESS, thereby resetting the molecular clock. Interestingly, CRY also displays roles in the Drosophila visual system, neuronal activity and magnetoreception. With this in mind, the aim of this project is to investigate the role of CRY in neuronal physiology in the larval neuromuscular junction and subsequently, translate these findings to the adult fly.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/T00746X/1 30/09/2020 29/09/2028
2594917 Studentship BB/T00746X/1 03/10/2021 02/10/2025 Emily Sample