The clock gene timeless (tim) is required for circadian rhythmicity in Drosophila. The accumulation of tim RNA followed a circadian rhythm, and the phase and period of the tim RNA rhythm were indistinguishable from those that have been reported for per. The tim RNA oscillations were found to be dependent on the presence of PER and TIM proteins, which demonstrates feedback control of tim by a mechanism previously shown, to regulate per expression. The cyclic expression of tim appears to dictate the timing of PER protein accumulation and nuclear localization, suggesting that tim promotes circadian rhythms of per and tim transcription by restricting per RNA and PER protein accumulation to separate times of day.
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