Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Key factor combines day and night to hold back morning

18.02.2011
As in manmade timepieces, the movements of the genetic clockworks that lie behind circadian cycles involve a remarkable amount of complexity. Researcher's from RIKEN's Laboratory for Systems Biology report how delayed feedback repression is a key factor in mammalian clock function.

The mammalian circadian clock is thought to arise from the interactions of around 20 transcription factors with specific DNA sequences associated with morning, day, and night expression. Existing models of this genetic network can readily explain the basis for the day and night activities, but the mechanism underlying morning expression remains incompletely understood.

It is thought that delayed negative feedback exerted by the morning (E/E? box) inhibitor Cryptochrome 1 (Cry1), which is itself expressed in evening, plays an important role in keeping the biological clock on time. But just how it achieves this effect is unknown.

Maki Ukai-Tadenuma and Rikuhiro G. Yamada of the Laboratory for Systems Biology (Hiroki R. Ueda, Project Leader), along with colleagues in the Universities of Memphis (USA) and Fribourg (Switzerland), now report how delayed feedback repression is a key factor in mammalian clock function. Published in Cell, this work shows the role of Cry1 as mediator of delayed negative feedback repression and fleshes out the current understanding of the circadian circuitry.

The team began by looking into the basis for the evening expression of Cry1 using reporter genes coding for the luciferase protein to detect transcriptional activity, and found that the Cry1 promoter region induces the expression of genes carrying the daytime expression motif. A closer look at Cry1’s DNA revealed that its intronic region contains a separate sequence that induces nighttime clock genes. They next stitched together a construct including these promoter and intron regions, and ran another reporter assay to observe its behavior, and found that its expression switched on in circadian evening, suggesting that this in-between expression time is a result of the combination of day and night regulatory elements. To test this model, the team tried to rescue clock function in cells with homozygous deletions of both Cry1 and Cry2 by inducing the evening expression of exogenous Cry1. They found that while the Cry1 promoter region alone was ineffective, when the promoter and intron regions were used in conjunction, the gene’s circadian rhythmicity was restored.

Using this same set-up, Ukai-Tadenuma and Yamada next tried changing the onset time of Cry1 expression, and found that as expression neared midday, meaning that the normal phase delay was reduced, the amplitude of circadian oscillations grew smaller, in line with predictions. Similarly, prolonging the delay of exogenous Cry1 expression caused an increase in the length of the restored cycle.

The team's findings were recapitulated by a relatively simple phase vector model, which not only successfully reproduces the findings from the current study, but numerous other aspects of the circadian clock network as well.

"In 1990, Paul Hardin at Texas A&M pointed out the importance of delayed feedback repression in biological clocks, but it has taken 21 years to work out the mechanism behind it," says Ueda. "We will continue exploring whether the current minimal transcriptional network model is complete, or whether new regulatory systems remain to be discovered."

[ Contact ]
Douglas Sipp : sipp(at)cdb.riken.jp
TEL : +81-78-306-3043
RIKEN CDB, Office for Science Communications and International Affairs

gro-pr | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.riken.jp
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht In depression the brain region for stress control is larger
20.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Interfacial engineering core@shell nanoparticles for active and selective direct H2O2 generation
19.09.2018 | Science China Press

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Glacial engineering could limit sea-level rise, if we get our emissions under control

20.09.2018 | Earth Sciences

Warning against hubris in CO2 removal

20.09.2018 | Earth Sciences

Halfway mark for NOEMA, the super-telescope under construction

20.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>