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Neuron. 2000 May;26(2):505-14.

A TIMELESS-independent function for PERIOD proteins in the Drosophila clock.

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Laboratory of Genetics and National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Biological Timing, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021, USA.


The mutation timeless(UL) generates 33 hr rhythms, prolonged nuclear localization of PERIOD/TIMELESS(UL) protein complexes, and protracted derepression of period (per) and timeless (tim) transcription. Light-induced elimination of TIM(UL) from nuclear PER/TIM(UL) complexes gives strong downregulation of per and tim expression. Thus, in the absence of TIM, nuclear PER can function as a potent negative transcriptional regulator. Two additional studies support this role for PER: (1) Drosophila expressing PER that constitutively localizes to nuclei produce dominant behavioral arrhythmicity, and (2) constitutively nuclear PER represses dCLOCK/CYCLE-mediated transcription of per in cultured cells without TIM. Conversion of PER/TIM heterodimers to nuclear PER proteins appears to be required to complete transcriptional repression and terminate each circadian molecular cycle.

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