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CRYPTOCHROME-mediated phototransduction by modulation of the potassium ion channel β-subunit redox sensor.

  • Author(s): Fogle, Keri J;
  • Baik, Lisa S;
  • Houl, Jerry H;
  • Tran, Tri T;
  • Roberts, Logan;
  • Dahm, Nicole A;
  • Cao, Yu;
  • Zhou, Ming;
  • Holmes, Todd C
  • et al.

Blue light activation of the photoreceptor CRYPTOCHROME (CRY) evokes rapid depolarization and increased action potential firing in a subset of circadian and arousal neurons in Drosophila melanogaster. Here we show that acute arousal behavioral responses to blue light significantly differ in mutants lacking CRY, as well as mutants with disrupted opsin-based phototransduction. Light-activated CRY couples to membrane depolarization via a well conserved redox sensor of the voltage-gated potassium (K(+)) channel β-subunit (Kvβ) Hyperkinetic (Hk). The neuronal light response is almost completely absent in hk(-/-) mutants, but is functionally rescued by genetically targeted neuronal expression of WT Hk, but not by Hk point mutations that disable Hk redox sensor function. Multiple K(+) channel α-subunits that coassemble with Hk, including Shaker, Ether-a-go-go, and Ether-a-go-go-related gene, are ion conducting channels for CRY/Hk-coupled light response. Light activation of CRY is transduced to membrane depolarization, increased firing rate, and acute behavioral responses by the Kvβ subunit redox sensor.

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