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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 15;277(46):44244-51. Epub 2002 Sep 3.

Glucose down-regulates Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels and induces circadian gene expression in cultured Rat-1 fibroblasts.

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Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Japan.


In mammals, peripheral circadian clocks are present in most tissues, but little is known about how these clocks are synchronized with the ambient 24-h cycles. By using rat-1 fibroblasts, a model cell system of the peripheral clock, we found that an exchange of the culture medium triggered circadian gene expression that was preceded by slow down-regulation of Per1 and Per2 mRNA levels. This profile contrasts to the immediate up-regulation of these genes often observed for clock resetting. The screening of factor(s) responsible for the down-regulation revealed glucose as a key component triggering the circadian rhythm. The requirement of both glucose metabolism and RNA/protein synthesis for the down-regulation suggests the involvement of gene(s) immediately up-regulated by glucose metabolism. An analysis with high density oligonucleotide microarrays identified >100 glucose-regulated genes. We found among others immediately up-regulated genes encoding transcriptional regulators TIEG1, VDUP1, and HES1, in addition to cooperatively regulated genes that are associated with cholesterol biosynthesis and cell cycle. The immediate up-regulation of Tieg1 and Vdup1 expression was dependent on glucose metabolism but not on protein synthesis, suggesting that the transcriptional regulators mediate the glucose-induced down-regulation of Per1 and Per2 expression. These results illustrate a novel mode of peripheral clock resetting by external glucose, a major food metabolite.

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