Genes Dev. 2011 May 15;25(10):1004-9.
Cryptochromes are a class of photosensory receptors that control important processes in animals and plants primarily by regulating gene expression. How photon absorption by cryptochromes leads to changes in gene expression has remained largely elusive. Three recent studies, including Lian and colleagues (pp. 1023-1028) and Liu and colleagues (pp. 1029-1034) in this issue of Genes & Development, demonstrate that the interaction of light-activated Arabidopsis cryptochromes with a class of regulatory components of E3 ubiquitin ligase complexes leads to environmentally controlled abundance of transcriptional regulators.