Gene transcription is a central timekeeping process in animal clocks. In Drosophila, the basic helix-loop helix (bHLH)-PAS transcription-factor heterodimer, CLOCK/CYCLE (CLK/CYC), transcriptionally activates the clock components period (per), timeless (tim), Par domain protein 1 (Pdp1), and vrille (vri), which feed back and regulate distinct features of CLK/CYC function . Microarray studies have identified numerous rhythmically expressed transcripts [2-7], some of which are potential direct CLK targets . Here we demonstrate a circadian function for one such target, a bHLH-Orange repressor, CG17100/CLOCKWORK ORANGE (CWO). cwo is rhythmically expressed, and levels are reduced in Clk mutants, suggesting that cwo is CLK activated in vivo. cwo mutants display reduced-amplitude molecular and behavioral rhythms with lengthened periods. Molecular analysis suggests that CWO acts, in part, by repressing CLK target genes. We propose that CWO acts as a transcriptional and behavioral rhythm amplifier.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)