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1.  Modulation of Clock Gene Expression by the Transcriptional Coregulator Receptor Interacting Protein 140 (RIP140) 
Journal of Biological Rhythms  2011;26(3):187-199.
Circadian rhythms are generated in central and peripheral tissues by an intracellular oscillating timing mechanism known as the circadian clock. Several lines of evidence show a strong and bidirectional interplay between metabolism and circadian rhythms. Receptor interacting protein 140 (RIP140) is a coregulator for nuclear receptors and other transcription factors that represses catabolic pathways in metabolic tissues. Although RIP140 functions as a corepressor for most nuclear receptors, mounting evidence points to RIP140 as a dual coregulator that can repress or activate different sets of genes. Here, we demonstrate that RIP140 mRNA and protein levels are under circadian regulation and identify RIP140 as a modulator of clock gene expression, suggesting that RIP140 can participate in a feedback mechanism affecting the circadian clock. We show that the absence of RIP140 disturbs the basal levels of BMAL1 and other clock genes, reducing the amplitude of their oscillations. In addition, we demonstrate that RIP140 is recruited to retinoid-related orphan receptor (ROR) binding sites on the BMAL1 promoter, directly interacts with RORα, and increases transcription from the BMAL1 promoter in a RORα-dependent manner. These results indicate that RIP140 is not only involved in metabolic control but also acts as a coactivator for RORα, influencing clock gene expression.
doi:10.1177/0748730411401579
PMCID: PMC3207295  PMID: 21628546
nuclear receptor; coactivator; coregulator; RIP140; Nrip1; BMAL1; RORA; Rev-erbα
2.  Differential Rescue of Light- and Food-Entrainable Circadian Rhythms 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2008;320(5879):1074-1077.
When food is plentiful, circadian rhythms of animals are powerfully entrained by the light-dark cycle. However, if animals have access to food only during their normal sleep cycle, they will shift most of their circadian rhythms to match the food availability. We studied the basis for entrainment of circadian rhythms by food and light in mice with targeted disruption of the clock gene Bmal1, which lack circadian rhythmicity. Injection of a viral vector containing the Bmal1 gene into the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus restored light-entrainable, but not food-entrainable, circadian rhythms. In contrast, restoration of the Bmal1 gene only in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus restored the ability of animals to entrain to food but not to light. These results demonstrate that the dorsomedial hypothalamus contains a Bmal1-based oscillator that can drive food entrainment of circadian rhythms.
doi:10.1126/science.1153277
PMCID: PMC3489954  PMID: 18497298
3.  Standards of evidence in chronobiology: critical review of a report that restoration of Bmal1 expression in the dorsomedial hypothalamus is sufficient to restore circadian food anticipatory rhythms in Bmal1-/- mice 
Daily feeding schedules generate food anticipatory rhythms of behavior and physiology that exhibit canonical properties of circadian clock control. The molecular mechanisms and location of food-entrainable circadian oscillators hypothesized to control food anticipatory rhythms are unknown. In 2008, Fuller et al reported that food-entrainable circadian rhythms are absent in mice bearing a null mutation of the circadian clock gene Bmal1 and that these rhythms can be rescued by virally-mediated restoration of Bmal1 expression in the dorsomedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (DMH) but not in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (site of the master light-entrainable circadian pacemaker). These results, taken together with controversial DMH lesion results published by the same laboratory, appear to establish the DMH as the site of a Bmal1-dependent circadian mechanism necessary and sufficient for food anticipatory rhythms. However, careful examination of the manuscript reveals numerous weaknesses in the evidence as presented. These problems are grouped as follows and elaborated in detail: 1. data management issues (apparent misalignments of plotted data), 2. failure of evidence to support the major conclusions, and 3. missing data and methodological details. The Fuller et al results are therefore considered inconclusive, and fail to clarify the role of either the DMH or Bmal1 in the expression of food-entrainable circadian rhythms in rodents.
doi:10.1186/1740-3391-7-3
PMCID: PMC2670815  PMID: 19323828
4.  Entrainment of breast (cancer) epithelial cells detects distinct circadian oscillation patterns for clock and hormone receptor genes 
Cell Cycle  2012;11(2):350-360.
Most physiological and biological processes are regulated by endogenous circadian rhythms under the control of both a master clock, which acts systemically and individual cellular clocks, which act at the single cell level. The cellular clock is based on a network of core clock genes, which drive the circadian expression of non-clock genes involved in many cellular processes. Circadian deregulation of gene expression has emerged to be as important as deregulation of estrogen signaling in breast tumorigenesis. Whether there is a mutual deregulation of circadian and hormone signaling is the question that we address in this study. Here we show that, upon entrainment by serum shock, cultured human mammary epithelial cells maintain an inner circadian oscillator, with key clock genes oscillating in a circadian fashion. In the same cells, the expression of the estrogen receptor α (ERA) gene also oscillates in a circadian fashion. In contrast, ERA-positive and -negative breast cancer epithelial cells show disruption of the inner clock. Further, ERA-positive breast cancer cells do not display circadian oscillation of ERA expression. Our findings suggest that estrogen signaling could be affected not only in ERA-negative breast cancer, but also in ERA-positive breast cancer due to lack of circadian availability of ERA. Entrainment of the inner clock of breast epithelial cells, by taking into consideration the biological time component, provides a novel tool to test mechanistically whether defective circadian mechanisms can affect hormone signaling relevant to breast cancer.
doi:10.4161/cc.11.2.18792
PMCID: PMC3293384  PMID: 22193044
circadian rhythm; clock genes; estrogen receptor alpha (ERA); breast cancer cells; entrainment; serum shock
5.  Expression Levels of Estrogen Receptor β Are Modulated by Components of the Molecular Clock▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;28(2):784-793.
Circadian regulation of gene expression plays a major role in health and disease. The precise role of the circadian system remains to be clarified, but it is known that circadian proteins generate physiological rhythms in organisms by regulating clock-controlled target genes. The estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) is, together with ERα, a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily and a key mediator of estrogen action. Interestingly, recent studies show that disturbed circadian rhythmicity in humans can increase the risk of reproductive malfunctions, suggesting a link between the circadian system and ER-mediated transcription pathways. Here, we identify a novel level of regulation of estrogen signaling where ERβ, but not ERα, is controlled by circadian clock proteins. We show that ERβ mRNA levels fluctuate in different peripheral tissues following a robust circadian pattern, with a peak at the light-dark transition, which is maintained under free-running conditions. Interestingly, this oscillation is abolished in clock-deficient BMAL1 knockout mice. Circadian control of ERβ expression is exerted through a conserved E-box element in the ERβ promoter region that recruits circadian regulatory factors. Furthermore, using small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown assays, we show that the expression levels of the circadian regulatory factors directly influence estrogen signaling by regulating the intracellular levels of endogenous ERβ.
doi:10.1128/MCB.00233-07
PMCID: PMC2223432  PMID: 18039858
6.  Identification of an estrogen-regulated circadian mechanism necessary for breast acinar morphogenesis 
Cell Cycle  2012;11(19):3691-3700.
Altered estrogen receptor α (ERA) signaling and altered circadian rhythms are both features of breast cancer. By using a method to entrain circadian oscillations in human cultured cells, we recently reported that the expression of key clock genes oscillates in a circadian fashion in ERA-positive breast epithelial cells but not in breast cancer cells, regardless of their ERA status. Moreover, we reported that ERA mRNA oscillates in a circadian fashion in ERA-positive breast epithelial cells, but not in ERA-positive breast cancer cells. By using ERA-positive HME1 breast epithelial cells, which can be both entrained in vitro and can form mammary gland-like acinar structures in three-dimensional (3D) culture, first we identified a circuit encompassing ERA and an estrogen-regulated loop consisting of two circadian clock genes, PER2 and BMAL1. Further, we demonstrated that this estrogen-regulated circuit is necessary for breast epithelial acinar morphogenesis. Disruption of this circuit due to ERA-knockdown, negatively affects the estrogen-sustained circadian PER2-BMAL1 mechanism as well as the formation of 3D HME1 acini. Conversely, knockdown of either PER2 or BMAL1, by hampering the PER2-BMAL1 loop of the circadian clock, negatively affects ERA circadian oscillations and 3D breast acinar morphogenesis. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence of the implication of an ERA-circadian clock mechanism in the breast acinar morphogenetic process.
doi:10.4161/cc.21946
PMCID: PMC3478319  PMID: 22935699
3D acinar morphogenesis; BMAL1; PER2; breast epithelial cells; circadian clock; estrogen receptor alpha (ERA); estrogen
7.  Genome-Wide Analysis of Light- and Temperature-Entrained Circadian Transcripts in Caenorhabditis elegans 
PLoS Biology  2010;8(10):e1000503.
Transcriptional profiling experiments identify light- and temperature-entrained circadian transcripts in C. elegans.
Most organisms have an endogenous circadian clock that is synchronized to environmental signals such as light and temperature. Although circadian rhythms have been described in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans at the behavioral level, these rhythms appear to be relatively non-robust. Moreover, in contrast to other animal models, no circadian transcriptional rhythms have been identified. Thus, whether this organism contains a bona fide circadian clock remains an open question. Here we use genome-wide expression profiling experiments to identify light- and temperature-entrained oscillating transcripts in C. elegans. These transcripts exhibit rhythmic expression with temperature-compensated 24-h periods. In addition, their expression is sustained under constant conditions, suggesting that they are under circadian regulation. Light and temperature cycles strongly drive gene expression and appear to entrain largely nonoverlapping gene sets. We show that mutations in a cyclic nucleotide-gated channel required for sensory transduction abolish both light- and temperature-entrained gene expression, implying that environmental cues act cell nonautonomously to entrain circadian rhythms. Together, these findings demonstrate circadian-regulated transcriptional rhythms in C. elegans and suggest that further analyses in this organism will provide new information about the evolution and function of this biological clock.
Author Summary
Daily (circadian) rhythms in behavior and physiology allow organisms to adapt to periodic cues such as light and temperature associated with the rotation of the earth. Subsets of molecular components of the internal clock that drive these rhythms, as well as effector genes for behavioral outputs, also exhibit rhythmic expression in many organisms. While circadian rhythms in behavior have previously been described in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, no transcriptional rhythms or clock genes have been identified, leaving open the question of the nature of the clock in this organism. Here, we identify light- and temperature-entrained cycling genes in C. elegans via genome-wide transcriptional profiling. Transcripts showing circadian regulation (including expression with a 24-h period maintained upon removal of the entraining stimulus) and temperature compensation were identified. Light and temperature appear to entrain independent sets of genes. We also identify large sets of light- or temperature-driven genes. Mutations in a channel gene previously implicated in sensory transduction in a small set of sensory neurons abolish entrainment of gene expression by environmental signals. This work demonstrates the presence of circadian transcriptional rhythms in C. elegans, and provides the foundation for future investigations into the underlying mechanisms.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000503
PMCID: PMC2953524  PMID: 20967231
8.  Coordination of the maize transcriptome by a conserved circadian clock 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:126.
Background
The plant circadian clock orchestrates 24-hour rhythms in internal physiological processes to coordinate these activities with daily and seasonal changes in the environment. The circadian clock has a profound impact on many aspects of plant growth and development, including biomass accumulation and flowering time. Despite recent advances in understanding the circadian system of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the contribution of the circadian oscillator to important agronomic traits in Zea mays and other cereals remains poorly defined. To address this deficit, this study investigated the transcriptional landscape of the maize circadian system.
Results
Since transcriptional regulation is a fundamental aspect of circadian systems, genes exhibiting circadian expression were identified in the sequenced maize inbred B73. Of the over 13,000 transcripts examined, approximately 10 percent displayed circadian expression patterns. The majority of cycling genes had peak expression at subjective dawn and dusk, similar to other plant circadian systems. The maize circadian clock organized co-regulation of genes participating in fundamental physiological processes, including photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, cell wall biogenesis, and phytohormone biosynthesis pathways.
Conclusions
Circadian regulation of the maize genome was widespread and key genes in several major metabolic pathways had circadian expression waveforms. The maize circadian clock coordinated transcription to be coincident with oncoming day or night, which was consistent with the circadian oscillator acting to prepare the plant for these major recurring environmental changes. These findings highlighted the multiple processes in maize plants under circadian regulation and, as a result, provided insight into the important contribution this regulatory system makes to agronomic traits in maize and potentially other C4 plant species.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-126
PMCID: PMC3095283  PMID: 20576144
9.  Rev-erb-α: an integrator of circadian rhythms and metabolism 
Journal of Applied Physiology  2009;107(6):1972-1980.
The endogenous circadian clock ensures daily rhythms in diverse behavioral and physiological processes, including locomotor activity and sleep/wake cycles, but also food intake patterns. Circadian rhythms are generated by an internal clock system which synchronizes these daily variations to the day/night alternance. In addition, circadian oscillations may be reset by the time of food availability in peripheral metabolic organs. Circadian rhythms are seen in many metabolic pathways (glucose and lipid metabolism, ..) and endocrine secretions (insulin, ..). As a consequence, misalignment of the internal timing system vs environmental zeitgebers (light for instance), as experienced during jetlag or shift work, may result in disruption of physiological cycles of fuel utilization or energy storage. A large body of evidence from both human and animal studies now points to a relationship between circadian disorders and altered metabolic response, suggesting that circadian and metabolic regulatory networks are tightly connected. After a review of the current understanding of the molecular circadian core clock, we will discuss the hypothesis that clock genes themselves link the core molecular clock and metabolic regulatory networks. We propose that the nuclear receptor and core clock component Rev-erbα behaves as a gatekeeper to timely coordinate the circadian metabolic response.
doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00570.2009
PMCID: PMC2966474  PMID: 19696364
Animals; Biological Clocks; physiology; CLOCK Proteins; physiology; Circadian Rhythm; physiology; Humans; Metabolic Networks and Pathways; physiology; Metabolic Syndrome X; physiopathology; Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 1, Group D, Member 1; physiology; circadian rhythm; metabolic disorders; Rev-erb-α; biological clock; metabolic syndrome
10.  Circadian Clock Genes as Modulators of Sensitivity to Genotoxic Stress 
Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)  2005;4(7):901-907.
A broad variety of organisms display circadian rhythms (i.e., oscillations with 24-hr periodicities) in many aspects of their behavior, physiology and metabolism. These rhythms are under genetic control and are generated endogenously at the cellular level. In mammals, the core molecular mechanism of the oscillator consists of two transcriptional activators, CLOCK and BMAL1, and their transcriptional targets, CRYPTOCHROMES (CRYS) and PERIODS (PERS). The CRY and PER proteins function as negative regulators of CLOCK/BMAL1 activity, thus forming the major circadian autoregulatory feedback loop. It is believed that the circadian clock system regulates daily variations in output physiology and metabolism through periodic activation/repression of the set of clock-controlled genes that are involved in various metabolic pathways. Importantly, circadian-controlled pathways include those that determine in vivo responses to genotoxic stress. By using circadian mutant mice deficient in different components of the molecular clock system, we have established genetic models that correlate with the two opposite extremes of circadian cycle as reflected by the activity of the CLOCK/BMAL1 transactivation complex. Comparison of the in vivo responses of these mutants to the chemotherapeutic drug, cyclophosphamide (CY), has established a direct correlation between drug toxicity and the functional status of the CLOCK/BMAL1 transcriptional complex. We have also demonstrated that CLOCK/BMAL1 modulates sensitivity to drug-induced toxicity by controlling B cell responses to active CY metabolites. These results suggest that the sensitivity of cells to genotoxic stress induced by anticancer therapy may be modulated by CLOCK/BMAL1 transcriptional activity. Further elucidation of the molecular mechanisms of circadian control as well as identification of specific pharmacological modulators of CLOCK/BMAL1 activity are likely to lead to the development of new anti-cancer treatment schedules with increased therapeutic index and reduced morbidity.
PMCID: PMC3774065  PMID: 15917646
Circadian; CLOCK; BMAL1; transcription; anticancer therapy
11.  Ribosomal S6 Kinase Cooperates with Casein Kinase 2 to Modulate the Drosophila Circadian Molecular Oscillator 
There is a universal requirement for post-translational regulatory mechanisms in circadian clock systems. Previous work in Drosophila has identified several kinases, phosphatases and an E3 ligase that are critical for determining the nuclear translocation and/or stability of clock proteins. The present study evaluated the function of p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) in the Drosophila circadian system. In mammals, RSK1 is a light- and clock-regulated kinase known to be activated by the MAPK pathway, but there is no direct evidence that it functions as a component of the circadian system. Here, we show that Drosophila S6KII RNA displays rhythms in abundance, indicative of circadian control. Importantly, an S6KII null mutant exhibits a short-period circadian phenotype that can be rescued by expression of the wild-type gene in clock neurons, indicating a role for S6KII in the molecular oscillator. Peak PER clock protein expression is elevated in the mutant, indicative of enhanced stability, whereas per mRNA level is decreased, consistent with enhanced feedback repression. Gene reporter assays show that decreased S6KII is associated with increased PER repression. Surprisingly, we demonstrate a physical interaction between S6KII and the Casein Kinase 2 regulatory subunit (CK2β), suggesting a functional relationship between the two kinases. In support of such a relationship, there are genetic interactions between S6KII and CK2 mutations, in vivo, which indicate that CK2 activity is required for S6KII action. We propose that the two kinases cooperate within clock neurons to fine-tune circadian period, improving the precision of the clock mechanism.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4034-08.2009
PMCID: PMC2775553  PMID: 19144847
Circadian; Post-transcriptional; p90 ribosomal S6 Kinase; RSK1; Casein Kinase 2; MAP Kinase
12.  Regulation of alternative splicing by the circadian clock and food related cues 
Genome Biology  2012;13(6):R54.
Background
The circadian clock orchestrates daily rhythms in metabolism, physiology and behaviour that allow organisms to anticipate regular changes in their environment, increasing their adaptation. Such circadian phenotypes are underpinned by daily rhythms in gene expression. Little is known, however, about the contribution of post-transcriptional processes, particularly alternative splicing.
Results
Using Affymetrix mouse exon-arrays, we identified exons with circadian alternative splicing in the liver. Validated circadian exons were regulated in a tissue-dependent manner and were present in genes with circadian transcript abundance. Furthermore, an analysis of circadian mutant Vipr2-/- mice revealed the existence of distinct physiological pathways controlling circadian alternative splicing and RNA binding protein expression, with contrasting dependence on Vipr2-mediated physiological signals. This view was corroborated by the analysis of the effect of fasting on circadian alternative splicing. Feeding is an important circadian stimulus, and we found that fasting both modulates hepatic circadian alternative splicing in an exon-dependent manner and changes the temporal relationship with transcript-level expression.
Conclusions
The circadian clock regulates alternative splicing in a manner that is both tissue-dependent and concurrent with circadian transcript abundance. This adds a novel temporal dimension to the regulation of mammalian alternative splicing. Moreover, our results demonstrate that circadian alternative splicing is regulated by the interaction between distinct physiological cues, and illustrates the capability of single genes to integrate circadian signals at different levels of regulation.
doi:10.1186/gb-2012-13-6-r54
PMCID: PMC3446320  PMID: 22721557
13.  Circadian Rhythm of Nitrogenase Gene Expression in the Diazotrophic Filamentous Nonheterocystous Cyanobacterium Trichodesmium sp. Strain IMS 101 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(14):3598-3605.
Recent studies suggested that the daily cycle of nitrogen fixation activity in the marine filamentous nonheterocystous cyanobacterium Trichodesmium sp. is controlled by a circadian rhythm. In this study, we evaluated the rhythm of nitrogen fixation in Trichodesmium sp. strain IMS 101 by using the three criteria for an endogenous rhythm. Nitrogenase transcript abundance oscillated with a period of approximately 24 h, and the cycle was maintained even under constant light conditions. The cyclic pattern of transcript abundance was maintained when the culture was grown at 24 and 28.5°C, although the period was slightly longer (26 h) at the higher temperature. The cycle of gene expression could be entrained with light-dark cues. Results of inhibitor experiments indicated that transcript abundance was regulated primarily by transcription initiation, rather than by degradation. The circadian rhythm, the first conclusively demonstrated endogenous rhythm in a filamentous cyanobacterium, was also reflected in nitrogenase MoFe protein abundance and patterns of Fe protein posttranslational modification-demodification.
PMCID: PMC107328  PMID: 9658003
14.  Testing Time: Can Ethanol-Induced Pulses of Proposed Oscillator Components Phase Shift Rhythms in Arabidopsis? 
Journal of biological rhythms  2008;23(6):463-471.
Circadian rhythms are generated by endogenous central oscillators that respond to input from the environment and regulate rhythmic outputs. In Arabidopsis, more than a dozen components that affect rhythms have been identified and used to propose models of the central oscillator. However, none has been shown to fulfill one of the expected characteristics of an oscillator component: that a pulse of its expression shifts the phase of circadian rhythms. Here we show that a pulse of the proposed oscillator components CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED 1 (CCA1) and LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL (LHY) causes dramatic phase shifts in rhythms of expression of the circadian reporter CAB2∷LUC, as well as of the clock-associated genes TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION 1 (TOC1) and GIGANTEA (GI). These results demonstrate that pulses of either CCA1 or LHY are capable of resetting the circadian clock. In contrast, a pulse of TOC1 expression did not elicit phase shifts. Control of TOC1 protein level is in part posttranscriptional; thus a pulse of TOC1 protein could be induced only at times when it is already high. Our work also shows that the ethanol-inducible system can be useful for achieving relatively short (<8 h) pulses of gene expression in seedlings.
doi:10.1177/0748730408326749
PMCID: PMC2652257  PMID: 19060255
Arabidopsis thaliana; circadian rhythm; central oscillator; phase shift; clock gene; ethanol-inducible system
15.  Real-Time Monitoring of Chloroplast Gene Expression by a Luciferase Reporter: Evidence for Nuclear Regulation of Chloroplast Circadian Period 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(3):863-870.
Chloroplast-encoded genes, like nucleus-encoded genes, exhibit circadian expression. How the circadian clock exerts its control over chloroplast gene expression, however, is poorly understood. To facilitate the study of chloroplast circadian gene expression, we developed a codon-optimized firefly luciferase gene for the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a real-time bioluminescence reporter and introduced it into the chloroplast genome. The bioluminescence of the reporter strain correlated well with the circadian expression pattern of the introduced gene and satisfied all three criteria for circadian rhythms. Moreover, the period of the rhythm was lengthened in per mutants, which are phototactic rhythm mutants carrying a long-period gene in their nuclear genome. These results demonstrate that chloroplast gene expression rhythm is a bona fide circadian rhythm and that the nucleus-encoded circadian oscillator determines the period length of the chloroplast rhythm. Our reporter strains can serve as a powerful tool not only for analysis of the circadian regulation mechanisms of chloroplast gene expression but also for a genetic approach to the molecular oscillator of the algal circadian clock.
doi:10.1128/MCB.26.3.863-870.2006
PMCID: PMC1347041  PMID: 16428442
16.  Circadian Genes Are Expressed during Early Development in Xenopus laevis 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):e2749.
Background
Circadian oscillators are endogenous time-keeping mechanisms that drive twenty four hour rhythmic changes in gene expression, metabolism, hormone levels, and physical activity. We have examined the developmental expression of genes known to regulate circadian rhythms in order to better understand the ontogeny of the circadian clock in a vertebrate.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In this study, genes known to function together in part of the core circadian oscillator mechanism (xPeriod1, xPeriod2, and xBmal1) as well as a rhythmic, clock-controlled gene (xNocturnin) were analyzed using in situ hybridization in embryos from neurula to late tailbud stages. Each transcript was present in the developing nervous system in the brain, eye, olfactory pit, otic vesicle and at lower levels in the spinal cord. These genes were also expressed in the developing somites and heart, but at different developmental times in peripheral tissues (pronephros, cement gland, and posterior mesoderm). No difference was observed in transcript levels or localization when similarly staged embryos maintained in cyclic light were compared at two times of day (dawn and dusk) by in situ hybridization. Quantitation of xBmal1 expression in embryonic eyes was also performed using qRT-PCR. Eyes were isolated at dawn, midday, dusk, and midnight (cylic light). No difference in expression level between time-points was found in stage 31 eyes (p = 0.176) but stage 40 eyes showed significantly increased levels of xBmal1 expression at midnight (RQ = 1.98+/−0.094) when compared to dawn (RQ = 1+/−0.133; p = 0.0004).
Conclusions/Significance
We hypothesize that when circadian genes are not co-expressed in the same tissue during development that it may indicate pleiotropic functions of these genes that are separate from the timing of circadian rhythm. Our results show that all circadian genes analyzed thus far are present during early brain and eye development, but rhythmic gene expression in the eye is not observed until after stage 31 of development.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002749
PMCID: PMC2518526  PMID: 18716681
17.  Circadian and Circalunar Clock Interactions in a Marine Annelid 
Cell Reports  2013;5(1):99-113.
Summary
Life is controlled by multiple rhythms. Although the interaction of the daily (circadian) clock with environmental stimuli, such as light, is well documented, its relationship to endogenous clocks with other periods is little understood. We establish that the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii possesses endogenous circadian and circalunar (monthly) clocks and characterize their interactions. The RNAs of likely core circadian oscillator genes localize to a distinct nucleus of the worm’s forebrain. The worm’s forebrain also harbors a circalunar clock entrained by nocturnal light. This monthly clock regulates maturation and persists even when circadian clock oscillations are disrupted by the inhibition of casein kinase 1δ/ε. Both circadian and circalunar clocks converge on the regulation of transcript levels. Furthermore, the circalunar clock changes the period and power of circadian behavior, although the period length of the daily transcriptional oscillations remains unaltered. We conclude that a second endogenous noncircadian clock can influence circadian clock function.
Graphical Abstract
Highlights
•Marine worms coexpress circadian clock gene orthologs in the forebrain and eye•The circalunar clock is functional in the absence of circadian clock oscillations•The circalunar clock changes the period length of circadian-clock-controlled behavior•The circalunar clock does not change the period of circadian molecular oscillations
Tessmar-Raible and colleagues investigate the circalunar and circadian rhythms of the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii. They identify the worm’s putative core circadian clock genes, describe their transcriptional oscillations, and show that locomotor activity is a circadian-clock-controlled behavior. A pharmacological blocker of casein kinase 1∂/ε abolishes circadian clock oscillations on the molecular and behavioral level, but not the monthly synchronization of maturation, suggesting an independent circalunar clock. This circalunar clock modulates circadian behavior and transcription.
doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2013.08.031
PMCID: PMC3913041  PMID: 24075994
18.  Integration of Light and Temperature in the Regulation of Circadian Gene Expression in Drosophila 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(4):e54.
Circadian clocks are aligned to the environment via synchronizing signals, or Zeitgebers, such as daily light and temperature cycles, food availability, and social behavior. In this study, we found that genome-wide expression profiles from temperature-entrained flies show a dramatic difference in the presence or absence of a thermocycle. Whereas transcript levels appear to be modified broadly by changes in temperature, there is a specific set of temperature-entrained circadian mRNA profiles that continue to oscillate in constant conditions. There are marked differences in the biological functions represented by temperature-driven or circadian regulation. The set of temperature-entrained circadian transcripts overlaps significantly with a previously defined set of transcripts oscillating in response to a photocycle. In follow-up studies, all thermocycle-entrained circadian transcript rhythms also responded to light/dark entrainment, whereas some photocycle-entrained rhythms did not respond to temperature entrainment. Transcripts encoding the clock components Period, Timeless, Clock, Vrille, PAR-domain protein 1, and Cryptochrome were all confirmed to be rhythmic after entrainment to a daily thermocycle, although the presence of a thermocycle resulted in an unexpected phase difference between period and timeless expression rhythms at the transcript but not the protein level. Generally, transcripts that exhibit circadian rhythms both in response to thermocycles and photocycles maintained the same mutual phase relationships after entrainment by temperature or light. Comparison of the collective temperature- and light-entrained circadian phases of these transcripts indicates that natural environmental light and temperature cycles cooperatively entrain the circadian clock. This interpretation is further supported by comparative analysis of the circadian phases observed for temperature-entrained and light-entrained circadian locomotor behavior. Taken together, these findings suggest that information from both light and temperature is integrated by the transcriptional clock mechanism in the adult fly head.
Author Summary
A key adaptation to life on Earth is provided by internal daily time-keeping mechanisms that allow anticipation of the alternations between night and day. To act as reliable time-keeping mechanisms, circadian clocks have to be able to synchronize to environmental time cues, maintain ∼24-h rhythms under constant conditions, run at approximately the same pace over a range of environmental temperatures, and efficiently communicate time-of-day information to other biological systems. Clock-controlled oscillations in gene expression play an essential role in producing overt circadian rhythms. For most organisms, light/dark cycles appear to constitute the most powerful entrainment cue, but daily temperature cycles have also been demonstrated to efficiently synchronize circadian rhythms. This study uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model to compare the clock-dependent and clock-independent daily gene expression rhythms produced in response to light/dark cycles versus temperature cycles. A broad temperature-driven expression program was found in the heads of both wild-type and arrhythmic mutant flies, but wild-type flies also exhibited a more specific temperature-entrained circadian expression response that resembled the circadian response following light entrainment. The phase relationship between the temperature- and light-entrained circadian rhythms suggests that in nature light and temperature act cooperatively to synchronize the circadian clock.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030054
PMCID: PMC1847695  PMID: 17411344
19.  Integration of Light and Temperature in the Regulation of Circadian Gene Expression in Drosophila 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(4):e54.
Circadian clocks are aligned to the environment via synchronizing signals, or Zeitgebers, such as daily light and temperature cycles, food availability, and social behavior. In this study, we found that genome-wide expression profiles from temperature-entrained flies show a dramatic difference in the presence or absence of a thermocycle. Whereas transcript levels appear to be modified broadly by changes in temperature, there is a specific set of temperature-entrained circadian mRNA profiles that continue to oscillate in constant conditions. There are marked differences in the biological functions represented by temperature-driven or circadian regulation. The set of temperature-entrained circadian transcripts overlaps significantly with a previously defined set of transcripts oscillating in response to a photocycle. In follow-up studies, all thermocycle-entrained circadian transcript rhythms also responded to light/dark entrainment, whereas some photocycle-entrained rhythms did not respond to temperature entrainment. Transcripts encoding the clock components Period, Timeless, Clock, Vrille, PAR-domain protein 1, and Cryptochrome were all confirmed to be rhythmic after entrainment to a daily thermocycle, although the presence of a thermocycle resulted in an unexpected phase difference between period and timeless expression rhythms at the transcript but not the protein level. Generally, transcripts that exhibit circadian rhythms both in response to thermocycles and photocycles maintained the same mutual phase relationships after entrainment by temperature or light. Comparison of the collective temperature- and light-entrained circadian phases of these transcripts indicates that natural environmental light and temperature cycles cooperatively entrain the circadian clock. This interpretation is further supported by comparative analysis of the circadian phases observed for temperature-entrained and light-entrained circadian locomotor behavior. Taken together, these findings suggest that information from both light and temperature is integrated by the transcriptional clock mechanism in the adult fly head.
Author Summary
A key adaptation to life on Earth is provided by internal daily time-keeping mechanisms that allow anticipation of the alternations between night and day. To act as reliable time-keeping mechanisms, circadian clocks have to be able to synchronize to environmental time cues, maintain ∼24-h rhythms under constant conditions, run at approximately the same pace over a range of environmental temperatures, and efficiently communicate time-of-day information to other biological systems. Clock-controlled oscillations in gene expression play an essential role in producing overt circadian rhythms. For most organisms, light/dark cycles appear to constitute the most powerful entrainment cue, but daily temperature cycles have also been demonstrated to efficiently synchronize circadian rhythms. This study uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model to compare the clock-dependent and clock-independent daily gene expression rhythms produced in response to light/dark cycles versus temperature cycles. A broad temperature-driven expression program was found in the heads of both wild-type and arrhythmic mutant flies, but wild-type flies also exhibited a more specific temperature-entrained circadian expression response that resembled the circadian response following light entrainment. The phase relationship between the temperature- and light-entrained circadian rhythms suggests that in nature light and temperature act cooperatively to synchronize the circadian clock.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030054
PMCID: PMC1847695  PMID: 17411344
20.  SIRT1 mediates central circadian control in the SCN by a mechanism that decays with aging 
Cell  2013;153(7):1448-1460.
Summary
SIRT1 is a NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase that governs many physiological pathways, including circadian rhythm in peripheral tissues. Here we show that SIRT1 in the brain governs central circadian control by activating transcription of the two major circadian regulators, BMAL1 and CLOCK. This activation itself comprises an amplifying circadian loop involving SIRT1, PGC-1α and Nampt. In aged wild type mice, SIRT1 levels in the suprachiasmatic nucleus are decreased, as are levels of BMAL1 and PER2, giving rise to a longer intrinsic period, a more disrupted activity pattern, and an inability to adapt to changes in the light entrainment schedule. Young mice lacking brain SIRT1 pheno-copy these aging-dependent circadian changes, while mice that over-express SIRT1 in brain are protected from the effects of aging. Our findings indicate that SIRT1 activates the central pacemaker to maintain robust circadian control in young animals, and a decay in this activity may play an important role in aging.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.027
PMCID: PMC3748806  PMID: 23791176
21.  Digital Signal Processing Reveals Circadian Baseline Oscillation in Majority of Mammalian Genes 
PLoS Computational Biology  2007;3(6):e120.
In mammals, circadian periodicity has been described for gene expression in the hypothalamus and multiple peripheral tissues. It is accepted that 10%–15% of all genes oscillate in a daily rhythm, regulated by an intrinsic molecular clock. Statistical analyses of periodicity are limited by the small size of datasets and high levels of stochastic noise. Here, we propose a new approach applying digital signal processing algorithms separately to each group of genes oscillating in the same phase. Combined with the statistical tests for periodicity, this method identifies circadian baseline oscillation in almost 100% of all expressed genes. Consequently, circadian oscillation in gene expression should be evaluated in any study related to biological pathways. Changes in gene expression caused by mutations or regulation of environmental factors (such as photic stimuli or feeding) should be considered in the context of changes in the amplitude and phase of genetic oscillations.
Author Summary
Prior studies have reported that ~15% of expressed genes show a circadian expression pattern in association with a specific function. A series of experimental and computational studies of gene expression in various murine tissues has led us to a different conclusion. By applying a new analysis strategy and a number of alternative algorithms, we identify baseline oscillation in almost 100% of all genes. While the phase and amplitude of oscillation vary between different tissues, circadian oscillation remains a fundamental property of every gene. Reanalysis of previously published data also reveals a greater number of oscillating genes than was previously reported. This suggests that circadian oscillation is a universal property of all mammalian genes, although phase and amplitude of oscillation are tissue-specific and remain associated with a gene's function. We hypothesize that the cell's metabolic respiratory cycle drives the oscillatory pattern of gene expression. These findings imply that biological pathways should be considered as dynamic systems of genes oscillating in coordination with each other.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030120
PMCID: PMC1892608  PMID: 17571920
22.  Digital Signal Processing Reveals Circadian Baseline Oscillation in Majority of Mammalian Genes 
PLoS Computational Biology  2007;3(6):e120.
In mammals, circadian periodicity has been described for gene expression in the hypothalamus and multiple peripheral tissues. It is accepted that 10%–15% of all genes oscillate in a daily rhythm, regulated by an intrinsic molecular clock. Statistical analyses of periodicity are limited by the small size of datasets and high levels of stochastic noise. Here, we propose a new approach applying digital signal processing algorithms separately to each group of genes oscillating in the same phase. Combined with the statistical tests for periodicity, this method identifies circadian baseline oscillation in almost 100% of all expressed genes. Consequently, circadian oscillation in gene expression should be evaluated in any study related to biological pathways. Changes in gene expression caused by mutations or regulation of environmental factors (such as photic stimuli or feeding) should be considered in the context of changes in the amplitude and phase of genetic oscillations.
Author Summary
Prior studies have reported that ~15% of expressed genes show a circadian expression pattern in association with a specific function. A series of experimental and computational studies of gene expression in various murine tissues has led us to a different conclusion. By applying a new analysis strategy and a number of alternative algorithms, we identify baseline oscillation in almost 100% of all genes. While the phase and amplitude of oscillation vary between different tissues, circadian oscillation remains a fundamental property of every gene. Reanalysis of previously published data also reveals a greater number of oscillating genes than was previously reported. This suggests that circadian oscillation is a universal property of all mammalian genes, although phase and amplitude of oscillation are tissue-specific and remain associated with a gene's function. We hypothesize that the cell's metabolic respiratory cycle drives the oscillatory pattern of gene expression. These findings imply that biological pathways should be considered as dynamic systems of genes oscillating in coordination with each other.
doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.0030120
PMCID: PMC1892608  PMID: 17571920
23.  The Circadian Clock Coordinates Ribosome Biogenesis 
PLoS Biology  2013;11(1):e1001455.
The authors identify a new role of the circadian clock in coordinating mRNA translation during ribosome biogenesis, a key process for cell metabolism.
Biological rhythms play a fundamental role in the physiology and behavior of most living organisms. Rhythmic circadian expression of clock-controlled genes is orchestrated by a molecular clock that relies on interconnected negative feedback loops of transcription regulators. Here we show that the circadian clock exerts its function also through the regulation of mRNA translation. Namely, the circadian clock influences the temporal translation of a subset of mRNAs involved in ribosome biogenesis by controlling the transcription of translation initiation factors as well as the clock-dependent rhythmic activation of signaling pathways involved in their regulation. Moreover, the circadian oscillator directly regulates the transcription of ribosomal protein mRNAs and ribosomal RNAs. Thus the circadian clock exerts a major role in coordinating transcription and translation steps underlying ribosome biogenesis.
Author Summary
Most living organisms on earth present biological rhythms that play a fundamental role in the coordination of their physiology and behavior. The discovery of the molecular circadian clock gives important insight into the mechanisms involved in the generation of these rhythms. Indeed, this molecular clock orchestrates the rhythmic transcription of clock-controlled genes involved in different aspects of metabolism, for example lipid, carbohydrate, and xenobiotic metabolisms in the liver. However, we show here that the circadian clock could also exert its function through the coordination of mRNA translation. Namely, the circadian clock influences the temporal translation of a subset of mRNAs by controlling the expression and activation of translation initiation factors, as well as the clock-dependent rhythmic activation of signaling pathways involved in their regulation. These rhythmically translated mRNAs are mainly involved in ribosome biogenesis, an energy consuming process, which has to be gated to a period when the cell resources are less limited. Moreover, the role of the circadian oscillator in this process is highlighted by its direct regulation of the transcription of ribosomal protein mRNAs and ribosomal RNAs. Thus our findings suggest that the circadian clock exerts a major role in coordinating transcription and translation steps underlying ribosome biogenesis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001455
PMCID: PMC3536797  PMID: 23300384
24.  Effects of age on circadian rhythms are similar in wild-type and heterozygous Clock mutant mice 
Neurobiology of aging  2004;25(4):517-523.
The amplitudes of many circadian rhythms, at the behavioral, physiological, cellular, and biochemical levels, decrease with advanced age. Previous studies suggest that the amplitude of the central circadian pacemaker is decreased in old animals. Recently, it has been reported that expression of several circadian clock genes, including Clock, is lower in the master circadian pacemaker of old rodents. To test the hypothesis that decreased activity of a circadian clock gene renders animals more susceptible to the effects of aging, we analyzed the circadian rhythm of locomotor activity in young and old wild-type and heterozygous Clock mutant mice. We found that the effects of age and the Clock mutation were additive. These results indicate that age-related changes in circadian rhythmicity occur equally in wild-type and heterozygous Clock mutants, suggesting that the Clock mutation does not render mice more susceptible to the effects of age on the circadian pacemaker.
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2003.06.007
PMCID: PMC3760160  PMID: 15013573
Aging; Circadian rhythm; Clock; Clock mutation
25.  The Acetyltransferase CLOCK Is Dispensable for Circadian Aftereffects in Mice 
Journal of biological rhythms  2011;26(6):561-564.
Recent demonstration of the histone acetyltransferase activity of the Clock gene greatly expanded the regulatory role of circadian clocks in gene transcription. Clock and its partner Bmal1 are responsible for the generation of circadian oscillations that are synchronized (entrained) to the external light cycle. Entraining light often produces long-lasting changes in the endogenous period called aftereffects. Aftereffects are light-dependent alterations in the speed of free-running rhythms that persist for several weeks upon termination of light exposure. How light causes such long-lasting changes is unknown. However, the persistent nature of circadian aftereffects in conjunction with the long-term effects of epigenetic modifications on development and various aspects of brain physiology prompted us to hypothesize that the histone acetyltransferase CLOCK was required for circadian aftereffects. The authors exposed Clock knockout mice to 25-hour light cycles and report that these mice retain the ability to display circadian aftereffects, indicating that Clock is dispensable for this form of circadian plasticity.
doi:10.1177/0748730411416329
PMCID: PMC3692460  PMID: 22215614 CAMSID: cams3042
aftereffects; entrainment; epigenetic; plasticity; mouse

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