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J Biol Chem. 2002 Apr 19;277(16):14048-52. Epub 2002 Feb 19.

Genome-wide transcriptional orchestration of circadian rhythms in Drosophila.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Circadian rhythms govern the behavior, physiology, and metabolism of living organisms. Recent studies have revealed the role of several genes in the clock mechanism both in Drosophila and in mammals. To study how gene expression is globally regulated by the clock mechanism, we used a high density oligonucleotide probe array (GeneChip) to profile gene expression patterns in Drosophila under light-dark and constant dark conditions. We found 712 genes showing a daily fluctuation in mRNA levels under light-dark conditions, and among these the expression of 115 genes was still cycling in constant darkness, i.e. under free-running conditions. Unexpectedly the expression of a large number of genes cycled exclusively under constant darkness. We found that cycling in most of these genes was lost in the arrhythmic Clock (Clk) mutant under light-dark conditions. Expression of periodically regulated genes is coordinated locally on chromosomes where small clusters of genes are regulated jointly. Our findings reveal that many genes involved in diverse functions are under circadian control and reveal the complexity of circadian gene expression in Drosophila.

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