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PLoS Genet. 2008 Jan;4(1):e12. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0040012. Epub 2007 Dec 13.

Dominant-negative CK2alpha induces potent effects on circadian rhythmicity.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, United States of America.

Abstract

Circadian clocks organize the precise timing of cellular and behavioral events. In Drosophila, circadian clocks consist of negative feedback loops in which the clock component PERIOD (PER) represses its own transcription. PER phosphorylation is a critical step in timing the onset and termination of this feedback. The protein kinase CK2 has been linked to circadian timing, but the importance of this contribution is unclear; it is not certain where and when CK2 acts to regulate circadian rhythms. To determine its temporal and spatial functions, a dominant negative mutant of the catalytic alpha subunit, CK2alpha(Tik), was targeted to circadian neurons. Behaviorally, CK2alpha(Tik) induces severe period lengthening (approximately 33 h), greater than nearly all known circadian mutant alleles, and abolishes detectable free-running behavioral rhythmicity at high levels of expression. CK2alpha(Tik), when targeted to a subset of pacemaker neurons, generates period splitting, resulting in flies exhibiting both long and near 24-h periods. These behavioral effects are evident even when CK2alpha(Tik) expression is induced only during adulthood, implicating an acute role for CK2alpha function in circadian rhythms. CK2alpha(Tik) expression results in reduced PER phosphorylation, delayed nuclear entry, and dampened cycling with elevated trough levels of PER. Heightened trough levels of per transcript accompany increased protein levels, suggesting that CK2alpha(Tik) disturbs negative feedback of PER on its own transcription. Taken together, these in vivo data implicate a central role of CK2alpha function in timing PER negative feedback in adult circadian neurons.

PMID:
18208335
PMCID:
PMC2211540
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.0040012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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