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Notable papers are listed here. Papers with two red dots are highly recommended. Articles with one or zero dots are recommended but not essential.
  1. (2009) Tamaru T, Hirayama J, Isojima Y, Nagai K, Norioka S, Takamatsu K, Sassone-Corsi P. CK2alpha phosphorylates BMAL1 to regulate the mammalian clock. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 16(4):446-8.
    Clock proteins govern circadian physiology and their function is regulated by various mechanisms. Here we demonstrate that Casein kinase (CK)-2alpha phosphorylates the core circadian regulator BMAL1. Gene silencing of CK2alpha or mutation of the highly conserved CK2-phosphorylation site in BMAL1, Ser90, result in impaired nuclear BMAL1 accumulation and disruption of clock function. Notably, phosphorylation at Ser90 follows a rhythmic pattern. These findings reveal that CK2 is an essential regulator of the mammalian circadian system.
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  2. (2008) Liu AC, Tran HG, Zhang EE, Priest AA, Welsh DK, Kay SA. Redundant function of REV-ERBalpha and beta and non-essential role for Bmal1 cycling in transcriptional regulation of intracellular circadian rhythms. PLoS Genet., 4(2):e1000023.
    The mammalian circadian clockwork is composed of a core PER/CRY feedback loop and additional interlocking loops. In particular, the ROR/REV/Bmal1 loop, consisting of ROR activators and REV-ERB repressors that regulate Bmal1 expression, is thought to "stabilize" core clock function. However, due to functional redundancy and pleiotropic effects of gene deletions, the role of the ROR/REV/Bmal1 loop has not been accurately defined. In this study, we examined cell-autonomous circadian oscillations using combined gene knockout and RNA interference and demonstrated that REV-ERBalpha and beta are functionally redundant and are required for rhythmic Bmal1 expression. In contrast, the RORs contribute to Bmal1 amplitude but are dispensable for Bmal1 rhythm. We provide direct in vivo genetic evidence that the REV-ERBs also participate in combinatorial regulation of Cry1 and Rorc expression, leading to their phase-delay relative to Rev-erbalpha. Thus, the REV-ERBs play a more prominent role than the RORs in the basic clock mechanism. The cellular genetic approach permitted testing of the robustness of the intracellular core clock function. We showed that cells deficient in both REV-ERBalpha and beta function, or those expressing constitutive BMAL1, were still able to generate and maintain normal Per2 rhythmicity. Our findings thus underscore the resilience of the intracellular clock mechanism and provide important insights into the transcriptional topologies underlying the circadian clock. Since REV-ERB function and Bmal1 mRNA/protein cycling are not necessary for basic clock function, we propose that the major role of the ROR/REV/Bmal1 loop and its constituents is to control rhythmic transcription of clock output genes.
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  3. (2008) Kiyohara YB, Nishii K, Ukai-Tadenuma M, Ueda HR, Uchiyama Y, Yagita K. Detection of a circadian enhancer in the mDbp promoter using prokaryotic transposon vector-based strategy. Nucleic Acids Res., 36(4):e23.
    In mammals, the expression of 5-10% of genes occurs with circadian fluctuation in various organs and tissues. This cyclic transcription is thought to be directly or indirectly regulated through circadian transcriptional/translational feedback loops consisting of a set of clock genes. Among the clock genes in mammals, expression of the Dbp mRNA robustly oscillates both in vivo and in culture cells. Here, we present circadian enhancer detection strategy using prokaryotic transposon system. The mDbp promoter drives reporter gene expression in robust circadian cycles in rat-1 fibroblasts. To identify the circadian enhancer generating this robust rhythm, we developed a prokaryotic transposon-based enhancer detecting vector for in vitro transposition. Using this system, we identified a strong circadian enhancer region containing the CATGTG sequence in the 5' flanking region of the mDbp gene; this enhancer region is critical for the ability of the mDbp promoter to drive robust oscillation in living cells. This enhancer is classified as a CANNTG type non-canonical E-box. These findings strongly suggest that CANNTG-type non-canonical E-boxes may contribute, at least in part, to the regulation of robust circadian gene expression. Furthermore, these data may help explain the wider effects of the CLOCK/BMAL1 complex in control of clock output genes.
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  4. (2008) Debruyne JP. Oscillating perceptions: the ups and downs of the CLOCK protein in the mouse circadian system. J. Genet., 87(5):437-46.
    A functional mouse CLOCK protein has long been thought to be essential for mammalian circadian clockwork function, based mainly on studies of mice bearing a dominant negative, antimorphic mutation in the Clock gene. However, new discoveries using recently developed Clock-null mutant mice have shaken up this view. In this review, I discuss how this recent work impacts and alters the previous view of the role of CLOCK in the mouse circadian clockwork.
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  5. (2008) Kumaki Y, Ukai-Tadenuma M, Uno KD, Nishio J, Masumoto KH, Nagano M, Komori T, Shigeyoshi Y, Hogenesch JB, Ueda HR. Analysis and synthesis of high-amplitude Cis-elements in the mammalian circadian clock. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 105(39):14946-51.
    Mammalian circadian clocks consist of regulatory loops mediated by Clock/Bmal1-binding elements, DBP/E4BP4 binding elements, and RevErbA/ROR binding elements. As a step toward system-level understanding of the dynamic transcriptional regulation of the oscillator, we constructed and used a mammalian promoter/enhancer database (http://promoter.cdb.riken.jp/) with computational models of the Clock/Bmal1-binding elements, DBP/E4BP4 binding elements, and RevErbA/ROR binding elements to predict new targets of the clock and subsequently validated these targets at the level of the cell and organism. We further demonstrated the predictive nature of these models by generating and testing synthetic regulatory elements that do not occur in nature and showed that these elements produced high-amplitude circadian gene regulation. Biochemical experiments to characterize these synthetic elements revealed the importance of the affinity balance between transactivators and transrepressors in generating high-amplitude circadian transcriptional output. These results highlight the power of comparative genomics approaches for system-level identification and knowledge-based design of dynamic regulatory circuits.
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  6. (2008) Lee J, Lee Y, Lee MJ, Park E, Kang SH, Chung CH, Lee KH, Kim K. Dual modification of BMAL1 by SUMO2/3 and ubiquitin promotes circadian activation of the CLOCK/BMAL1 complex. Mol. Cell. Biol., 28(19):6056-65.
    Heterodimers of BMAL1 and CLOCK drive rhythmic expression of clock-controlled genes, thereby generating circadian physiology and behavior. Posttranslational modifications of BMAL1 play a key role in modulating the transcriptional activity of the CLOCK/BMAL1 complex during the circadian cycle. Recently, we demonstrated that circadian activation of the heterodimeric transcription factor is accompanied by ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis of BMAL1. Here we show that modification by SUMO localizes BMAL1 exclusively to the promyelocytic leukemia nuclear body (NB) and simultaneously promotes its transactivation and ubiquitin-dependent degradation. Under physiological conditions, BMAL1 was predominantly conjugated to poly-SUMO2/3 rather than SUMO1, and the level of these conjugates underwent rhythmic variation, peaking at times of maximum E-box-mediated circadian transcription. Interestingly, mutation of the sumoylation site (Lys(259)) of BMAL1 markedly inhibited both its ubiquitination and its proteasome-mediated proteolysis, and these effects were reversed by covalent attachment of SUMO3 to the C terminus of the mutant BMAL1. Consistent with this, SUSP1, a SUMO protease highly specific for SUMO2/3, abolished ubiquitination, as well as sumoylation of BMAL1, while the ubiquitin protease UBP41 blocked BMAL1 ubiquitination but induced accumulation of polysumoylated BMAL1 and its localization to the NB. Furthermore, inhibition of proteasome with MG132 elicited robust nuclear accumulation of SUMO2/3- and ubiquitin-modified BMAL1 that was restricted to the transcriptionally active stage of the circadian cycle. These results indicate that dual modification of BMAL1 by SUMO2/3 and ubiquitin is essential for circadian activation and degradation of the CLOCK/BMAL1 complex.
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  7. (2007) Storch KF, Paz C, Signorovitch J, Raviola E, Pawlyk B, Li T, Weitz CJ. Intrinsic circadian clock of the mammalian retina: importance for retinal processing of visual information. Cell, 130(4):730-41.
    Circadian clocks are widely distributed in mammalian tissues, but little is known about the physiological functions of clocks outside the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the brain. The retina has an intrinsic circadian clock, but its importance for vision is unknown. Here we show that mice lacking Bmal1, a gene required for clock function, had abnormal retinal transcriptional responses to light and defective inner retinal electrical responses to light, but normal photoreceptor responses to light and retinas that appeared structurally normal by light and electron microscopy. We generated mice with a retina-specific genetic deletion of Bmal1, and they had defects of retinal visual physiology essentially identical to those of mice lacking Bmal1 in all tissues and lacked a circadian rhythm of inner retinal electrical responses to light. Our findings indicate that the intrinsic circadian clock of the retina regulates retinal visual processing in vivo.
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  8. (2007) Kondratov RV. A role of the circadian system and circadian proteins in aging. Ageing Res. Rev., 6(1):12-27.
    Circadian rhythms are genetically determined biological rhythms that are considered an important adaptive mechanism to the cyclical light/dark alterations in the Earth environment. Age-related changes in the circadian time-keeping mechanism are well known, and seemingly contribute to various pathologies of aging. Recent findings demonstrate that the circadian system and circadian proteins play direct roles in many physiological processes, including those associated with aging. The core circadian proteins BMAL1 and PERIODs, in addition to their known functions in the circadian oscillator, play essential non-redundant roles in the control of tissue homeostasis and aging. Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, the involvement of circadian proteins in the regulation of metabolism, genotoxic stress response and reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis can be responsible for the premature aging, observed in some circadian mutants. The understanding of the molecular mechanisms of these non-circadian activities of the circadian proteins will ultimately lead to the improvement in prevention and treatment of age-related pathologies.
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  9. (2007) Partonen T, Treutlein J, Alpman A, Frank J, Johansson C, Depner M, Aron L, Rietschel M, Wellek S, Soronen P, Paunio T, Koch A, Chen P, Lathrop M, Adolfsson R, Persson ML, Kasper S, Schalling M, Peltonen L, Schumann G. Three circadian clock genes Per2, Arntl, and Npas2 contribute to winter depression. Ann. Med., 39(3):229-38.
    BACKGROUND: Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the circadian clock contributes to the pathogenesis of winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). We hypothesized that sequence variations in three genes, including Per2, Arntl, and Npas2, which form a functional unit at the core of the circadian clock, predispose to winter depression. METHODS: In silico analysis of the biological effects of allelic differences suggested the target single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to be analyzed in a sample of 189 patients and 189 matched controls. The most relevant SNP in each gene was identified for the interaction analysis and included in the multivariate assessment of the combined effects of all three SNPs on the disease risk. RESULTS: SAD was associated with variations in each of the three genes in gene-wise logistic regression analysis. In combination analysis of variations of Per2, Arntl, and Npas2, we found additive effects and identified a genetic risk profile for the disorder. Carriers of the risk genotype combination had the odds ratio of 4.43 of developing SAD as compared with the remaining genotypes, and of 10.67 as compared with the most protective genotype combination. CONCLUSION: Variations in the three circadian clock genes Per2, Arntl, and Npas2 are associated with the disease, supporting the hypothesis that the circadian clock mechanisms contribute to winter depression.
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  10. (2007) Hirayama J, Sahar S, Grimaldi B, Tamaru T, Takamatsu K, Nakahata Y, Sassone-Corsi P. CLOCK-mediated acetylation of BMAL1 controls circadian function. Nature, 450(7172):1086-90.
    Regulation of circadian physiology relies on the interplay of interconnected transcriptional-translational feedback loops. The CLOCK-BMAL1 complex activates clock-controlled genes, including cryptochromes (Crys), the products of which act as repressors by interacting directly with CLOCK-BMAL1. We have demonstrated that CLOCK possesses intrinsic histone acetyltransferase activity and that this enzymatic function contributes to chromatin-remodelling events implicated in circadian control of gene expression. Here we show that CLOCK also acetylates a non-histone substrate: its own partner, BMAL1, is specifically acetylated on a unique, highly conserved Lys 537 residue. BMAL1 undergoes rhythmic acetylation in mouse liver, with a timing that parallels the downregulation of circadian transcription of clock-controlled genes. BMAL1 acetylation facilitates recruitment of CRY1 to CLOCK-BMAL1, thereby promoting transcriptional repression. Importantly, ectopic expression of a K537R-mutated BMAL1 is not able to rescue circadian rhythmicity in a cellular model of peripheral clock. These findings reveal that the enzymatic interplay between two clock core components is crucial for the circadian machinery.
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  11. (2006) Boden MJ, Kennaway DJ. Circadian rhythms and reproduction. Reproduction, 132(3):379-92.
    There is a growing recognition that the circadian timing system, in particular recently discovered clock genes, plays a major role in a wide range of physiological systems. Microarray studies, for example, have shown that the expression of hundreds of genes changes many fold in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, liver heart and kidney. In this review, we discuss the role of circadian rhythmicity in the control of reproductive function in animals and humans. Circadian rhythms and clock genes appear to be involved in optimal reproductive performance, but there are sufficient redundancies in their function that many of the knockout mice produced do not show overt reproductive failure. Furthermore, important strain differences have emerged from the studies especially between the various Clock (Circadian Locomotor Output Cycle Kaput) mutant strains. Nevertheless, there is emerging evidence that the primary clock genes, Clock and Bmal1 (Brain and Muscle ARNT-like protein 1, also known as Mop3), strongly influence reproductive competency. The extent to which the circadian timing system affects human reproductive performance is not known, in part, because many of the appropriate studies have not been done. With the role of Clock and Bmal1 in fertility becoming clearer, it may be time to pursue the effect of polymorphisms in these genes in relation to the various types of infertility in humans.
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  12. (2006) Sato TK, Yamada RG, Ukai H, Baggs JE, Miraglia LJ, Kobayashi TJ, Welsh DK, Kay SA, Ueda HR, Hogenesch JB. Feedback repression is required for mammalian circadian clock function. Nat. Genet., 38(3):312-9.
    Direct evidence for the requirement of transcriptional feedback repression in circadian clock function has been elusive. Here, we developed a molecular genetic screen in mammalian cells to identify mutants of the circadian transcriptional activators CLOCK and BMAL1, which were uncoupled from CRYPTOCHROME (CRY)-mediated transcriptional repression. Notably, mutations in the PER-ARNT-SIM domain of CLOCK and the C terminus of BMAL1 resulted in synergistic insensitivity through reduced physical interactions with CRY. Coexpression of these mutant proteins in cultured fibroblasts caused arrhythmic phenotypes in population and single-cell assays. These data demonstrate that CRY-mediated repression of the CLOCK/BMAL1 complex activity is required for maintenance of circadian rhythmicity and provide formal proof that transcriptional feedback is required for mammalian clock function.
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  13. (2005) Ueda HR, Hayashi S, Chen W, Sano M, Machida M, Shigeyoshi Y, Iino M, Hashimoto S. System-level identification of transcriptional circuits underlying mammalian circadian clocks. Nat. Genet., 37(2):187-92.
    Mammalian circadian clocks consist of complexly integrated regulatory loops, making it difficult to elucidate them without both the accurate measurement of system dynamics and the comprehensive identification of network circuits. Toward a system-level understanding of this transcriptional circuitry, we identified clock-controlled elements on 16 clock and clock-controlled genes in a comprehensive surveillance of evolutionarily conserved cis elements and measurement of their transcriptional dynamics. Here we report the roles of E/E' boxes, DBP/E4BP4 binding elements and RevErbA/ROR binding elements in nine, seven and six genes, respectively. Our results indicate that circadian transcriptional circuits are governed by two design principles: regulation of E/E' boxes and RevErbA/ROR binding elements follows a repressor-precedes-activator pattern, resulting in delayed transcriptional activity, whereas regulation of DBP/E4BP4 binding elements follows a repressor-antiphasic-to-activator mechanism, which generates high-amplitude transcriptional activity. Our analysis further suggests that regulation of E/E' boxes is a topological vulnerability in mammalian circadian clocks, a concept that has been functionally verified using in vitro phenotype assay systems.
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  14. (2005) Bunger MK, Walisser JA, Sullivan R, Manley PA, Moran SM, Kalscheur VL, Colman RJ, Bradfield CA. Progressive arthropathy in mice with a targeted disruption of the Mop3/Bmal-1 locus. Genesis, 41(3):122-32.
    Disruption of the murine Mop3 (also known as Bmal1 or Arntl) locus results in a loss of behavioral and molecular circadian rhythms. Although Mop3 null mice do not display anomalies in early development, they do display reduced activity as they age. In an effort to explain this decreased activity, we characterized the physiological and anatomical changes that occurred with age. We observed that Mop3 null mice display an increased mortality after 26 weeks of age and a phenotype best described as a progressive noninflammatory arthropathy. Although little pathology is observed prior to 11 weeks of age, by 35 weeks of age essentially all Mop3 null animals develop joint ankylosis due to flowing ossification of ligaments and tendons and almost complete immobilization of weight-bearing and nonweight-bearing joints. This pathology appears to explain the decreased activity of Mop3 null mice and suggests that MOP3 is an inhibitor of ligament and tendon ossification.
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  15. (2005) Yoo SH, Ko CH, Lowrey PL, Buhr ED, Song EJ, Chang S, Yoo OJ, Yamazaki S, Lee C, Takahashi JS. A noncanonical E-box enhancer drives mouse Period2 circadian oscillations in vivo. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 102(7):2608-13.
    The mouse Period2 (mPer2) locus is an essential negative-feedback element of the mammalian circadian-clock mechanism. Recent work has shown that mPer2 circadian gene expression persists in both central and peripheral tissues. Here, we analyze the mouse mPer2 promoter and identify a circadian enhancer (E2) with a noncanonical 5'-CACGTT-3' E-box located 20 bp upstream of the mPer2 transcription start site. The E2 enhancer accounts for most circadian transcriptional drive of the mPer2 locus by CLOCK:BMAL1, is a major site of DNaseI hypersensitivity in this region, and is constitutively bound by a transcriptional complex containing the CLOCK protein. Importantly, the E2 enhancer is sufficient to drive self-sustained circadian rhythms of luciferase activity in central and peripheral tissues from mPer2-E2::Luciferase transgenic mice with tissue-specific phase and period characteristics. Last, genetic analysis with mutations in Clock and Bmal1 shows that the E2 enhancer is a target of CLOCK and BMAL1 in vivo.
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  16. (2005) Turek FW, Joshu C, Kohsaka A, Lin E, Ivanova G, McDearmon E, Laposky A, Losee-Olson S, Easton A, Jensen DR, Eckel RH, Takahashi JS, Bass J. Obesity and metabolic syndrome in circadian Clock mutant mice. Science, 308(5724):1043-5.
    The CLOCK transcription factor is a key component of the molecular circadian clock within pacemaker neurons of the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. We found that homozygous Clock mutant mice have a greatly attenuated diurnal feeding rhythm, are hyperphagic and obese, and develop a metabolic syndrome of hyperleptinemia, hyperlipidemia, hepatic steatosis, hyperglycemia, and hypoinsulinemia. Expression of transcripts encoding selected hypothalamic peptides associated with energy balance was attenuated in the Clock mutant mice. These results suggest that the circadian clock gene network plays an important role in mammalian energy balance.
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  17. (2005) Cardone L, Hirayama J, Giordano F, Tamaru T, Palvimo JJ, Sassone-Corsi P. Circadian clock control by SUMOylation of BMAL1. Science, 309(5739):1390-4.
    The molecular machinery that governs circadian rhythmicity is based on clock proteins organized in regulatory feedback loops. Although posttranslational modification of clock proteins is likely to finely control their circadian functions, only limited information is available to date. Here, we show that BMAL1, an essential transcription factor component of the clock mechanism, is SUMOylated on a highly conserved lysine residue (Lys259) in vivo. BMAL1 shows a circadian pattern of SUMOylation that parallels its activation in the mouse liver. SUMOylation of BMAL1 requires and is induced by CLOCK, the heterodimerization partner of BMAL1. Ectopic expression of a SUMO-deficient BMAL1 demonstrates that SUMOylation plays an important role in BMAL1 circadian expression and clock rhythmicity. This reveals an additional level of regulation within the core mechanism of the circadian clock.
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  18. (2005) Akashi M, Takumi T. The orphan nuclear receptor RORalpha regulates circadian transcription of the mammalian core-clock Bmal1. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol., 12(5):441-8.
    The PAS (PER-ARNT-SIM) helix-loop-helix transcription factor BMAL1 (also known as MOP3) is an essential component of the circadian pacemaker in mammals. Here we show that the retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor RORalpha (NR1F1) directly activates transcription of Bmal1 through two conserved RORalpha response elements that are required for cell-autonomous transcriptional oscillation of Bmal1 mRNA. Positive involvement of RORalpha in generation of the Bmal1 circadian oscillation was verified by behavioral analyses of RORalpha-deficient staggerer mice that showed aberrant locomotor activity and unstable rhythmicity. In cultured cells, loss of endogenous RORalpha protein resulted in a dampened circadian rhythm of Bmal1 transcription, further indicating that RORalpha is a functional component of the cell-autonomous core circadian clock. These results indicate that RORalpha acts to promote Bmal1 transcription, thereby maintaining a robust circadian rhythm.
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  19. (2005) Guillaumond F, Dardente H, Giguère V, Cermakian N. Differential control of Bmal1 circadian transcription by REV-ERB and ROR nuclear receptors. J. Biol. Rhythms, 20(5):391-403.
    Circadian rhythms result from feedback loops involving clock genes and their protein products. In mammals, 2 orphan nuclear receptors, REV-ERBalpha and RORalpha, play important roles in the transcription of the clock gene Bmal1. The authors now considerably extend these findings with the demonstration that all members of the REV-ERB (alpha and beta) and ROR (alpha, beta, and gamma) families repress and activate Bmal1 transcription, respectively. The authors further show that transcription of Bmal1 is the result of competition between REV-ERBs and RORs at their specific response elements (RORE). Moreover, they demonstrate that Reverb genes are similarly expressed in the thymus, skeletal muscle, and kidney, whereas Ror genes present distinct expression patterns. Thus, the results indicate that all members of the REV-ERB and ROR families are crucial components of the molecular circadian clock. Furthermore, their strikingly different patterns of expression in nervous and peripheral tissues provide important insights into functional differences between circadian clocks within the organism.
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  20. (2004) Rudic RD, McNamara P, Curtis AM, Boston RC, Panda S, Hogenesch JB, Fitzgerald GA. BMAL1 and CLOCK, two essential components of the circadian clock, are involved in glucose homeostasis. PLoS Biol., 2(11):e377.
    Circadian timing is generated through a unique series of autoregulatory interactions termed the molecular clock. Behavioral rhythms subject to the molecular clock are well characterized. We demonstrate a role for Bmal1 and Clock in the regulation of glucose homeostasis. Inactivation of the known clock components Bmal1 (Mop3) and Clock suppress the diurnal variation in glucose and triglycerides. Gluconeogenesis is abolished by deletion of Bmal1 and is depressed in Clock mutants, but the counterregulatory response of corticosterone and glucagon to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia is retained. Furthermore, a high-fat diet modulates carbohydrate metabolism by amplifying circadian variation in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and mutation of Clock restores the chow-fed phenotype. Bmal1 and Clock, genes that function in the core molecular clock, exert profound control over recovery from insulin-induced hypoglycaemia. Furthermore, asynchronous dietary cues may modify glucose homeostasis via their interactions with peripheral molecular clocks.
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  21. (2004) Sato TK, Panda S, Miraglia LJ, Reyes TM, Rudic RD, McNamara P, Naik KA, FitzGerald GA, Kay SA, Hogenesch JB. A functional genomics strategy reveals Rora as a component of the mammalian circadian clock. Neuron, 43(4):527-37.
    The mammalian circadian clock plays an integral role in timing rhythmic physiology and behavior, such as locomotor activity, with anticipated daily environmental changes. The master oscillator resides within the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which can maintain circadian rhythms in the absence of synchronizing light input. Here, we describe a genomics-based approach to identify circadian activators of Bmal1, itself a key transcriptional activator that is necessary for core oscillator function. Using cell-based functional assays, as well as behavioral and molecular analyses, we identified Rora as an activator of Bmal1 transcription within the SCN. Rora is required for normal Bmal1 expression and consolidation of daily locomotor activity and is regulated by the core clock in the SCN. These results suggest that opposing activities of the orphan nuclear receptors Rora and Rev-erb alpha, which represses Bmal1 expression, are important in the maintenance of circadian clock function.
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  22. (2002) Eide EJ, Vielhaber EL, Hinz WA, Virshup DM. The circadian regulatory proteins BMAL1 and cryptochromes are substrates of casein kinase Iepsilon. J. Biol. Chem., 277(19):17248-54.
    The serine/threonine protein kinase casein kinase I epsilon (CKIepsilon) is a key regulator of metazoan circadian rhythm. Genetic and biochemical data suggest that CKIepsilon binds to and phosphorylates the PERIOD proteins. However, the PERIOD proteins interact with a variety of circadian regulators, suggesting the possibility that CKIepsilon may interact with and phosphorylate additional clock components as well. We find that CRY1 and BMAL1 are phosphoproteins in cultured cells. Mammalian PERIOD proteins act as a scaffold with distinct domains that simultaneously bind CKIepsilon and mCRY1 and mCRY2 (mCRY). mCRY is phosphorylated by CKIepsilon only when both proteins are bound to mammalian PERIOD proteins. BMAL1 is also a substrate for CKIepsilon in vitro, and CKIepsilon kinase activity positively regulates BMAL1-dependent transcription from circadian promoters in reporter assays. We conclude that CKIepsilon phosphorylates multiple circadian substrates and may exert its effects on circadian rhythm in part by a direct effect on BMAL1-dependent transcription.
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  23. (2002) Preitner N, Damiola F, Lopez-Molina L, Zakany J, Duboule D, Albrecht U, Schibler U. The orphan nuclear receptor REV-ERBalpha controls circadian transcription within the positive limb of the mammalian circadian oscillator. Cell, 110(2):251-60.
    Mammalian circadian rhythms are generated by a feedback loop in which BMAL1 and CLOCK, players of the positive limb, activate transcription of the cryptochrome and period genes, components of the negative limb. Bmal1 and Per transcription cycles display nearly opposite phases and are thus governed by different mechanisms. Here, we identify the orphan nuclear receptor REV-ERBalpha as the major regulator of cyclic Bmal1 transcription. Circadian Rev-erbalpha expression is controlled by components of the general feedback loop. Thus, REV-ERBalpha constitutes a molecular link through which components of the negative limb drive antiphasic expression of components of the positive limb. While REV-ERBalpha influences the period length and affects the phase-shifting properties of the clock, it is not required for circadian rhythm generation.
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  24. (2002) Akashi M, Tsuchiya Y, Yoshino T, Nishida E. Control of intracellular dynamics of mammalian period proteins by casein kinase I epsilon (CKIepsilon) and CKIdelta in cultured cells. Mol. Cell. Biol., 22(6):1693-703.
    Recent studies have shown that casein kinase I epsilon (CKIepsilon) is an essential regulator of the mammalian circadian clock. However, the detailed mechanisms by which CKIepsilon regulates each component of the circadian negative-feedback loop have not been fully defined. We show here that mPer proteins, negative limbs of the autoregulatory loop, are specific substrates for CKIepsilon and CKIdelta. The CKI phosphorylation of mPer1 and mPer3 proteins results in their rapid degradation, which is dependent on the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Moreover, CKIepsilon and CKIdelta are able to induce nuclear translocation of mPer3, which requires its nuclear localization signal. The mutation in potential phosphorylation sites on mPer3 decreased the extent of both nuclear translocation and degradation of mPer3 that are stimulated by CKIepsilon. CKIepsilon and CKIdelta affected the inhibitory effect of mPer proteins on the transcriptional activity of BMAL1-CLOCK, but the inhibitory effect of mCry proteins on the activity of BMAL1-CLOCK was unaffected. These results suggest that CKIepsilon and CKIdelta regulate the mammalian circadian autoregulatory loop by controlling both protein turnover and subcellular localization of mPer proteins.
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  25. (2002) Sanada K, Okano T, Fukada Y. Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylates and negatively regulates basic helix-loop-helix-PAS transcription factor BMAL1. J. Biol. Chem., 277(1):267-71.
    In vertebrates, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) exhibits circadian activation in several clock structures and likely participates in the timekeeping mechanism of the circadian clock. Here we show that MAPK associates with a basic helix-loop-helix-PAS transcription factor BMAL1, a positive regulator for the autoregulatory feedback loop of the circadian oscillator. MAPK phosphorylates BMAL1 at multiple sites, including Ser-527, Thr-534, and Ser-599, in vitro, and BMAL1:CLOCK-induced transactivation from the E-box element is inhibited by expression of a constitutive active form of MAPK kinase in 293 cells. The inhibitory effect is reversed by coexpression of the kinase-dead mutant of MAPK or by mutation of BMAL1 at Thr-534. These results indicate that BMAL1:CLOCK-induced transcription is negatively regulated by MAPK-mediated phosphorylation of BMAL1 at Thr-534 and suggest a molecular link between circadian-activated MAPK and the clock oscillator.
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  26. (2001) Lee C, Etchegaray JP, Cagampang FR, Loudon AS, Reppert SM. Posttranslational mechanisms regulate the mammalian circadian clock. Cell, 107(7):855-67.
    We have examined posttranslational regulation of clock proteins in mouse liver in vivo. The mouse PERIOD proteins (mPER1 and mPER2), CLOCK, and BMAL1 undergo robust circadian changes in phosphorylation. These proteins, the cryptochromes (mCRY1 and mCRY2), and casein kinase I epsilon (CKIepsilon) form multimeric complexes that are bound to DNA during negative transcriptional feedback. CLOCK:BMAL1 heterodimers remain bound to DNA over the circadian cycle. The temporal increase in mPER abundance controls the negative feedback interactions. Analysis of clock proteins in mCRY-deficient mice shows that the mCRYs are necessary for stabilizing phosphorylated mPER2 and for the nuclear accumulation of mPER1, mPER2, and CKIepsilon. We also provide in vivo evidence that casein kinase I delta is a second clock relevant kinase.
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  27. (2001) Okano T, Yamamoto K, Okano K, Hirota T, Kasahara T, Sasaki M, Takanaka Y, Fukada Y. Chicken pineal clock genes: implication of BMAL2 as a bidirectional regulator in circadian clock oscillation. Genes Cells, 6(9):825-36.
    BACKGROUND: In a transcription/translation-based autoregulatory feedback loop of vertebrate circadian clock systems, a BMAL1-CLOCK heterodimer is a positive regulator for the transcription of the negative element gene Per. The chicken pineal gland represents a photosensitive clock tissue, but the pineal clock genes constituting the oscillator loop have been less well characterized. RESULTS: We identified expression of the Per2, Bmal1, Bmal2 and Clock genes in the chicken pineal gland. Messenger RNA levels of these genes exhibited overt circadian rhythms in the pineal cells, both in vivo and in culture. In vitro functional analyses revealed the formation of cBMAL1-cCLOCK and cBMAL2-cCLOCK heteromers. Both of the cBMAL-cCLOCK heteromers activated E-box element-dependent transcription, which was negatively regulated by cPER2 in luciferase assays. Co-expression of cCLOCK, cBMAL1 and cBMAL2 co-operatively activated E-box element-dependent transcription, and a greater level of expression of cBMAL2 inhibited the activation. In the cultured pineal cells, an over-expression of either cBMAL1 or cBMAL2 disrupted the circadian rhythm of melatonin production. CONCLUSION: The functional characterization of the chicken pineal clock molecules supports the key roles of BMAL1, BMAL2 and CLOCK which contribute to the E-box-dependent transcriptional regulation in the circadian clock system.
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  28. (2000) Shearman LP, Sriram S, Weaver DR, Maywood ES, Chaves I, Zheng B, Kume K, Lee CC, van der Horst GT, Hastings MH, Reppert SM. Interacting molecular loops in the mammalian circadian clock. Science, 288(5468):1013-9.
    We show that, in the mouse, the core mechanism for the master circadian clock consists of interacting positive and negative transcription and translation feedback loops. Analysis of Clock/Clock mutant mice, homozygous Period2(Brdm1) mutants, and Cryptochrome-deficient mice reveals substantially altered Bmal1 rhythms, consistent with a dominant role of PERIOD2 in the positive regulation of the Bmal1 loop. In vitro analysis of CRYPTOCHROME inhibition of CLOCK: BMAL1-mediated transcription shows that the inhibition is through direct protein:protein interactions, independent of the PERIOD and TIMELESS proteins. PERIOD2 is a positive regulator of the Bmal1 loop, and CRYPTOCHROMES are the negative regulators of the Period and Cryptochrome cycles.
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  29. (2000) Lowrey PL, Shimomura K, Antoch MP, Yamazaki S, Zemenides PD, Ralph MR, Menaker M, Takahashi JS. Positional syntenic cloning and functional characterization of the mammalian circadian mutation tau. Science, 288(5465):483-92.
    The tau mutation is a semidominant autosomal allele that dramatically shortens period length of circadian rhythms in Syrian hamsters. We report the molecular identification of the tau locus using genetically directed representational difference analysis to define a region of conserved synteny in hamsters with both the mouse and human genomes. The tau locus is encoded by casein kinase I epsilon (CKIepsilon), a homolog of the Drosophila circadian gene double-time. In vitro expression and functional studies of wild-type and tau mutant CKIepsilon enzyme reveal that the mutant enzyme has a markedly reduced maximal velocity and autophosphorylation state. In addition, in vitro CKIepsilon can interact with mammalian PERIOD proteins, and the mutant enzyme is deficient in its ability to phosphorylate PERIOD. We conclude that tau is an allele of hamster CKIepsilon and propose a mechanism by which the mutation leads to the observed aberrant circadian phenotype in mutant animals.
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  30. (2000) Cermakian N, Whitmore D, Foulkes NS, Sassone-Corsi P. Asynchronous oscillations of two zebrafish CLOCK partners reveal differential clock control and function. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 97(8):4339-44.
    Most clock genes encode transcription factors that interact to elicit cooperative control of clock function. Using a two-hybrid system approach, we have isolated two different partners of zebrafish (zf) CLOCK, which are similar to the mammalian BMAL1 (brain and muscle arylhydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator-like protein 1). The two homologs, zfBMAL1 and zfBMAL2, contain conserved basic helix-loop-helix-PAS (Period-Arylhydrocarbon receptor-Singleminded) domains but diverge in the carboxyl termini, thus bearing different transcriptional activation potential. As for zfClock, the expression of both zfBmals oscillates in most tissues in the animal. However, in many tissues, the peak, levels, and kinetics of expression are different between the two genes and for the same gene from tissue to tissue. These results support the existence of independent peripheral oscillators and suggest that zfBMAL1 and zfBMAL2 may exert distinct circadian functions, interacting differentially with zfCLOCK at various times in different tissues. Our findings also indicate that multiple controls may be exerted by the central clock and/or that peripheral oscillators can differentially interpret central clock signals.
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  31. (2000) Bunger MK, Wilsbacher LD, Moran SM, Clendenin C, Radcliffe LA, Hogenesch JB, Simon MC, Takahashi JS, Bradfield CA. Mop3 is an essential component of the master circadian pacemaker in mammals. Cell, 103(7):1009-17.
    Circadian oscillations in mammalian physiology and behavior are regulated by an endogenous biological clock. Here we show that loss of the PAS protein MOP3 (also known as BMAL1) in mice results in immediate and complete loss of circadian rhythmicity in constant darkness. Additionally, locomotor activity in light-dark (LD) cycles is impaired and activity levels are reduced in Mop3-/- mice. Analysis of Period gene expression in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) indicates that these behavioral phenotypes arise from loss of circadian function at the molecular level. These results provide genetic evidence that MOP3 is the bona fide heterodimeric partner of mCLOCK. Furthermore, these data demonstrate that MOP3 is a nonredundant and essential component of the circadian pacemaker in mammals.
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  32. (1999) Kume K, Zylka MJ, Sriram S, Shearman LP, Weaver DR, Jin X, Maywood ES, Hastings MH, Reppert SM. mCRY1 and mCRY2 are essential components of the negative limb of the circadian clock feedback loop. Cell, 98(2):193-205.
    We determined that two mouse cryptochrome genes, mCry1 and mCry2, act in the negative limb of the clock feedback loop. In cell lines, mPER proteins (alone or in combination) have modest effects on their cellular location and ability to inhibit CLOCK:BMAL1 -mediated transcription. This suggested cryptochrome involvement in the negative limb of the feedback loop. Indeed, mCry1 and mCry2 RNA levels are reduced in the central and peripheral clocks of Clock/Clock mutant mice. mCRY1 and mCRY2 are nuclear proteins that interact with each of the mPER proteins, translocate each mPER protein from cytoplasm to nucleus, and are rhythmically expressed in the suprachiasmatic circadian clock. Luciferase reporter gene assays show that mCRY1 or mCRY2 alone abrogates CLOCK:BMAL1-E box-mediated transcription. The mPER and mCRY proteins appear to inhibit the transcriptional complex differentially.
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  33. (1999) Griffin EA, Staknis D, Weitz CJ. Light-independent role of CRY1 and CRY2 in the mammalian circadian clock. Science, 286(5440):768-71.
    Cryptochrome (CRY), a photoreceptor for the circadian clock in Drosophila, binds to the clock component TIM in a light-dependent fashion and blocks its function. In mammals, genetic evidence suggests a role for CRYs within the clock, distinct from hypothetical photoreceptor functions. Mammalian CRY1 and CRY2 are here shown to act as light-independent inhibitors of CLOCK-BMAL1, the activator driving Per1 transcription. CRY1 or CRY2 (or both) showed light-independent interactions with CLOCK and BMAL1, as well as with PER1, PER2, and TIM. Thus, mammalian CRYs act as light-independent components of the circadian clock and probably regulate Per1 transcriptional cycling by contacting both the activator and its feedback inhibitors.
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  34. (1998) Hogenesch JB, Gu YZ, Jain S, Bradfield CA. The basic-helix-loop-helix-PAS orphan MOP3 forms transcriptionally active complexes with circadian and hypoxia factors. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 95(10):5474-9.
    We report that MOP3 is a general dimerization partner for a subset of the basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-PER-ARNT-SIM (PAS) superfamily of transcriptional regulators. We demonstrated that MOP3 interacts with MOP4, CLOCK, hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF1alpha), and HIF2alpha. A DNA selection protocol revealed that the MOP3-MOP4 heterodimer bound a CACGTGA-containing DNA element. Transient transfection experiments demonstrated that the MOP3-MOP4 and MOP3-CLOCK complexes bound this element in COS-1 cells and drove transcription from a linked luciferase reporter gene. We also deduced the high-affinity DNA binding sites for MOP3-HIF1alpha complex (TACGTGA) and used transient transfection experiments to demonstrate that the MOP3-HIF1alpha and MOP3-HIF2alpha heterodimers bound this element, drove transcription, and responded to cellular hypoxia. Finally, we found that MOP3 mRNA expression overlaps in a number of tissues with each of its four potential partner molecules in vivo.
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  35. (1998) Gekakis N, Staknis D, Nguyen HB, Davis FC, Wilsbacher LD, King DP, Takahashi JS, Weitz CJ. Role of the CLOCK protein in the mammalian circadian mechanism. Science, 280(5369):1564-9.
    The mouse Clock gene encodes a bHLH-PAS protein that regulates circadian rhythms and is related to transcription factors that act as heterodimers. Potential partners of CLOCK were isolated in a two-hybrid screen, and one, BMAL1, was coexpressed with CLOCK and PER1 at known circadian clock sites in brain and retina. CLOCK-BMAL1 heterodimers activated transcription from E-box elements, a type of transcription factor-binding site, found adjacent to the mouse per1 gene and from an identical E-box known to be important for per gene expression in Drosophila. Mutant CLOCK from the dominant-negative Clock allele and BMAL1 formed heterodimers that bound DNA but failed to activate transcription. Thus, CLOCK-BMAL1 heterodimers appear to drive the positive component of per transcriptional oscillations, which are thought to underlie circadian rhythmicity.
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  36. (1998) Rutila JE, Suri V, Le M, So WV, Rosbash M, Hall JC. CYCLE is a second bHLH-PAS clock protein essential for circadian rhythmicity and transcription of Drosophila period and timeless. Cell, 93(5):805-14.
    We report the identification, characterization, and cloning of another novel Drosophila clock gene, cycle (cyc). Homozygous cyc flies are completely arrhythmic. Heterozygous cyc/+ flies are rhythmic but have altered periods, indicating that the cyc locus has a dosage effect on period. The molecular circadian phenotype of homozygous cyc flies is like homozygous Clk flies presented in the accompanying paper: mutant flies have little or no transcription of the per and tim genes. Cloning of the gene indicates that it also encodes a bHLH-PAS transcription factor and is a Drosophila homolog of the human protein BMAL1. cyc is a nonsense mutation, consistent with its strong loss-of-function phenotype. We propose that the CYC:CLK heterodimer binds to per and tim E boxes and makes a major contribution to the circadian transcription of Drosophila clock genes.
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  37. (1997) Ikeda M, Nomura M. cDNA cloning and tissue-specific expression of a novel basic helix-loop-helix/PAS protein (BMAL1) and identification of alternatively spliced variants with alternative translation initiation site usage. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 233(1):258-64.
    Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH)/PAS proteins, such as Sim, act as transcriptional factors, playing a critical role in the control of central nervous system (CNS) development. To isolate novel bHLH/PAS factors in the CNS an iterative search of a database for expressed sequence tags (ESTs) resulted in the location of several bHLH/PAS protein-like sequences. The rapid amplification of cDNA end (RACE) method was applied to isolate full-length cDNAs of these ESTs. Several 5' and 3' terminal sequences were isolated using primers derived from an EST from the human brain cDNA library. The predicted novel factor polypeptide had bHLH and PAS domains that were highly homologous with those of Ah receptor nuclear translocator (Arnt) and Arnt2. Combination of the isolated cDNA fragments revealed the existence of several alternatively spliced variants. The distribution of the novel bHLH/PAS factor message was analyzed by Northern blot hybridization. This detected only one transcript, which was 2.9 kb in size. Strong hybridization was found in the brain, skeletal muscle and heart. Expression of the novel bHLH/PAS factor, brain and muscle Arnt-like protein 1 (BMAL1), was different from that of Arnt and Arnt2, suggesting that BMAL1 has a different function in the CNS and muscle than Arnt and Arnt2.
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