Chickens' Cry2: Molecular analysis of an avian cryptochrome in retinal and pineal photoreceptors

Michael J. Bailey, Nelson W. Chong, Jin Xiong, Vincent M. Cassone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


We have identified and characterized an ortholog of the putative mammalian clock gene cryptochrome 2 (Cry2) in the chicken, Gallus domesticus. Northern blot analysis of gCry2 mRNA indicates widespread distribution in central nervous and peripheral tissues, with very high expression in pineal and retina. In situ hybridization of chick brain and retina reveals expression in photoreceptors and in visual and circadian system structures. Expression is rhythmic; mRNA levels predominate in late subjective night. The present data suggests that gCry2 is a candidate avian clock gene and/or photopigment and set the stage for functional studies of gCry2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 27 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was partly supported by NIH Grant RO1 NS35822 and PO1 NS39546 to V.M.C. Research in the laboratory of N.W.C. was supported in part by the Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust (Travel Research Award). We thank Dr. Deborah Bell-Pedersen, Dr. Thomas McKnight, Dr. David Earnest, and Dr. Terry Thomas for guidance during the course of these studies and Mrs. Barbara Earnest for animal care support.


  • Chicken
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Clock gene
  • Cryptochrome
  • Pineal gland
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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