Faculté des sciences

High amplitude phase resetting in Rev-Erba/Per1 double mutant mice

Jud, Corinne ; Hayoz, Antoinette ; Albrecht, Urs

In: PLoS ONE, 2010, vol. 5, no. 9, p. e12540

Over time, organisms developed various strategies to adapt to their environment. Circadian clocks are thought to have evolved to adjust to the predictable rhythms of the light-dark cycle caused by the rotation of the Earth around its own axis. The rhythms these clocks generate persist even in the absence of environmental cues with a period of about 24 hours. To tick in time, they continuously... Plus

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    Summary
    Over time, organisms developed various strategies to adapt to their environment. Circadian clocks are thought to have evolved to adjust to the predictable rhythms of the light-dark cycle caused by the rotation of the Earth around its own axis. The rhythms these clocks generate persist even in the absence of environmental cues with a period of about 24 hours. To tick in time, they continuously synchronize themselves to the prevailing photoperiod by appropriate phase shifts. In this study, we disrupted two molecular components of the mammalian circadian oscillator, Rev-Erbα and Period1 (Per1). We found that mice lacking these genes displayed robust circadian rhythms with significantly shorter periods under constant darkness conditions. Strikingly, they showed high amplitude resetting in response to a brief light pulse at the end of their subjective night phase, which is rare in mammals. Surprisingly, Cry1, a clock component not inducible by light in mammals, became slightly inducible in these mice. Taken together, Rev-Erbα and Per1 may be part of a mechanism preventing drastic phase shifts in mammals.