Many animals use Earth’s magnetic field (also known as the geomagnetic field) for navigation1. The favoured mechanism for magnetosensitivity involves a blue-light-activated electron-transfer reaction between flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and a chain of tryptophan residues within the photoreceptor protein CRYPTOCHROME (CRY). The spin-state of the resultant radical pair, and therefore the concentration of CRY in its active state, is influenced by the geomagnetic field2. However, the canonical CRY-centric radical-pair mechanism does not explain many physiological and behavioural observations2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Here, using electrophysiology and behavioural analyses, we assay magnetic-field responses at the single-neuron and organismal levels. We show that the 52 C-terminal amino acid residues of Drosophila melanogaster CRY, lacking the canonical FAD-binding domain and tryptophan chain, are sufficient to facilitate magnetoreception. We also show that increasing intracellular FAD potentiates both blue-light-induced and magnetic-field-dependent effects on the activity mediated by the C terminus. High levels of FAD alone are sufficient to cause blue-light neuronal sensitivity and, notably, the potentiation of this response in the co-presence of a magnetic field. These results reveal the essential components of a primary magnetoreceptor in flies, providing strong evidence that non-canonical (that is, non-CRY-dependent) radical pairs can elicit magnetic-field responses in cells.
- “Unlocking the Secrets of Magnetoreception: New Study Reveals Essential Components in Flies”
- “Non-Canonical Radical Pairs Elicit Magnetic-Field Responses in Cells: Implications for Human Health”
- “Magnetic Field Responses in Flies Could Shed Light on Health Implications of EMF Exposure”
- “The Surprising Components of a Primary Magnetoreceptor in Flies: Implications for Navigation and Human Health”
- “Magnetic Sensitivity in Flies: A Step Closer to Understanding How We Navigate and React to EMF Exposure”
Twitter Post: “New study uncovers essential components of magnetoreception in flies, potentially shedding light on the effects of EMF exposure on human health. Check out the latest research on radical pair magnetosensitivity and the role of CRY proteins. #magnetoreception #EMFexposure #health”
If the findings on radical pair magnetosensitivity in Drosophila are found to be relevant to human CRY proteins, it could also suggest that exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) may disrupt the circadian rhythm and other biological processes in humans that are regulated by CRY proteins.
Research on the effects of EMF exposure on human health is still ongoing, and the evidence is not yet conclusive. However, some studies have suggested that EMF exposure may be linked to various health problems, including sleep disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
Therefore, if there is a connection between human CRY proteins and magnetosensitivity, it is possible that EMF exposure could interfere with the function of these proteins and disrupt the body’s internal clock. This could have significant implications for human health and well-being, and further research is needed to better understand the potential effects of EMF exposure on the circadian rhythm and other biological processes in humans.