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PLoS Comput Biol. 2008 Oct;4(10):e1000193. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000193. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Analysis of gene regulatory networks in the mammalian circadian rhythm.

Author information

1
CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, Shanghai, China. junyan@picb.ac.cn

Abstract

Circadian rhythm is fundamental in regulating a wide range of cellular, metabolic, physiological, and behavioral activities in mammals. Although a small number of key circadian genes have been identified through extensive molecular and genetic studies in the past, the existence of other key circadian genes and how they drive the genomewide circadian oscillation of gene expression in different tissues still remains unknown. Here we try to address these questions by integrating all available circadian microarray data in mammals. We identified 41 common circadian genes that showed circadian oscillation in a wide range of mouse tissues with a remarkable consistency of circadian phases across tissues. Comparisons across mouse, rat, rhesus macaque, and human showed that the circadian phases of known key circadian genes were delayed for 4-5 hours in rat compared to mouse and 8-12 hours in macaque and human compared to mouse. A systematic gene regulatory network for the mouse circadian rhythm was constructed after incorporating promoter analysis and transcription factor knockout or mutant microarray data. We observed the significant association of cis-regulatory elements: EBOX, DBOX, RRE, and HSE with the different phases of circadian oscillating genes. The analysis of the network structure revealed the paths through which light, food, and heat can entrain the circadian clock and identified that NR3C1 and FKBP/HSP90 complexes are central to the control of circadian genes through diverse environmental signals. Our study improves our understanding of the structure, design principle, and evolution of gene regulatory networks involved in the mammalian circadian rhythm.

PMID:
18846204
PMCID:
PMC2543109
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000193
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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