Identification of a novel vertebrate circadian clock-regulated gene encoding the protein nocturnin

Carla B. Green, Joseph C. Besharse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Photoreceptors of the Xenopus laevis retina are the site of a circadian clock. As part of a differential display screen for rhythmic gene products in this system, we have identified a photoreceptor-specific mRNA expressed in peak abundance at night. cDNA cloning revealed an open reading frame encoding a putative 388 amino acid protein that we have named 'nocturnin' (for night- factor). This protein has strong sequence similarity to the C-terminal domain of the yeast transcription factor, CCR4, as well as a leucine zipper-like dimerization motif. Nocturnin mRNA levels exhibit a high amplitude circadian rhythm and nuclear run-on analysis indicates that it is controlled by the retinal circadian clock at the level of transcription. Our observations suggest that nocturnin may function through protein-protein interaction either as a component of the circadian clock or as a downstream effector of clock function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14884-14888
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume93
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 10 1996

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Circadian Clocks
Vertebrates
Proteins
Leucine Zippers
Messenger RNA
Xenopus laevis
Dimerization
Circadian Rhythm
Open Reading Frames
Retina
Organism Cloning
Transcription Factors
Complementary DNA
Yeasts
Amino Acids
nocturnin
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

Cite this

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abstract = "Photoreceptors of the Xenopus laevis retina are the site of a circadian clock. As part of a differential display screen for rhythmic gene products in this system, we have identified a photoreceptor-specific mRNA expressed in peak abundance at night. cDNA cloning revealed an open reading frame encoding a putative 388 amino acid protein that we have named 'nocturnin' (for night- factor). This protein has strong sequence similarity to the C-terminal domain of the yeast transcription factor, CCR4, as well as a leucine zipper-like dimerization motif. Nocturnin mRNA levels exhibit a high amplitude circadian rhythm and nuclear run-on analysis indicates that it is controlled by the retinal circadian clock at the level of transcription. Our observations suggest that nocturnin may function through protein-protein interaction either as a component of the circadian clock or as a downstream effector of clock function.",
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