Atomistic Insights into Cryptochrome Interprotein Interactions

A new paper by Sarafina, Ida and Ilia from the group, with the title "Atomistic Insights into Cryptochrome Interprotein Interactions", has now been published in Biophysical Journal. This work was also featured in the cover image for the journal issue.

In that paper we investigate further photoreceptor protein called cryptochrome-4 from European robins and its implications in magnetic sensing. It is well established now, that one explanation of this magnetic sense roots upon the so-called radical pair mechanism, which involves electron transfer between a chain of tryptophan amino acid residues and a flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) co-factor located inside cryptochrome. Cryptochrome alone cannot act as a reliable sensor of the weak geomagnetic field, and should interact with proteins inside the crowded cellular environment. Despite significant efforts, the specific interaction partners that would boost cryptochrome's magnetic sensitivity are still not discovered. We address the problem from a computational point of view.

The paper has also been features in a blog post, which you can find here.