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Biosystems. 2010 Oct;102(1):61-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2010.07.010. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Circadian transcription in liver.

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Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Stuhlsatzenhausweg 85, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany.


Circadian rhythms regulate a wide range of cellular, physiological, metabolic and behavioral activities in mammals. The complexity of tissue- and day-time specific regulation of thousands of clock controlled genes (CCGs) suggests that many transcriptional regulators are involved. Our bioinformatic analysis is based on two published DNA-array studies from mouse liver. We search overrepresented transcription factor binding sites in promoter regions of CCGs using GC-matched controls. Analyzing a large set of CCG promoters, we find known motifs such as E-boxes, D-boxes and cAMP responsive elements. In addition, we find overrepresented GC-rich motifs (Sp1, ETF, Nrf1), AT-rich motifs (TBP, Fox04, MEF-2), Y-box motifs (NF-Y, C/EBP) and cell cycle regulators (E2F, Elk-1). In a subset of system-driven genes, we find overrepresented motifs of the serum response factor SRF and the estrogen receptor ER. The analysis of published ChIP data reveals that some of our predicted regulators (C/EBP, E2F, HNF-1, Myc, MEF-2) target relatively many clock controlled genes. Our analysis of CCG promoters contributes to an understanding of the complex transcriptional regulation of circadian rhythms in liver.

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