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J Neurosci. 1999 Jun 15;19(12):RC11.

Differential regulation of mPER1 and mTIM proteins in the mouse suprachiasmatic nuclei: new insights into a core clock mechanism.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3DY, United Kingdom.


Recent discoveries have identified a framework for the core circadian clock mechanism in mammals. Development of this framework has been based entirely on the expression patterns of so-called "clock genes" in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), the principal clock of mammals. We now provide data concerning the protein expression patterns of two of these genes, mPer1 and mTim. Our studies show that mPER1 and mTIM are nuclear antigens expressed in the SCN and extensively throughout the forebrain. Expression of mPER1 in the SCN was rhythmic under entrained conditions and with clear circadian cycling under free-running conditions. Expression of mPER1 elsewhere in the mouse forebrain was not rhythmic. In contrast to mPER1, mTIM expression in the SCN did not vary with time in mice housed in either a light/dark cycle or in constant dim red light. The phase relationship between mPer1 RNA and mPER1 cycles in the SCN is consistent with a negative feedback model of the mammalian clock. The invariant nature of nuclear mTIM in the SCN suggests that its participation in negative feedback occurs only after mPER1 has entered the nucleus, and that the abundance of mTIM is not regulated by the circadian clock or the light/dark cycle.

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