Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS Biol. 2012;10(8):e1001367. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001367. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

CULLIN-3 controls TIMELESS oscillations in the Drosophila circadian clock.

Author information

Institut de Neurobiologie Alfred Fessard, CNRS UPR3294, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


Eukaryotic circadian clocks rely on transcriptional feedback loops. In Drosophila, the PERIOD (PER) and TIMELESS (TIM) proteins accumulate during the night, inhibit the activity of the CLOCK (CLK)/CYCLE (CYC) transcriptional complex, and are degraded in the early morning. The control of PER and TIM oscillations largely depends on post-translational mechanisms. They involve both light-dependent and light-independent pathways that rely on the phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and proteasomal degradation of the clock proteins. SLMB, which is part of a CULLIN-1-based E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, is required for the circadian degradation of phosphorylated PER. We show here that CULLIN-3 (CUL-3) is required for the circadian control of PER and TIM oscillations. Expression of either Cul-3 RNAi or dominant negative forms of CUL-3 in the clock neurons alters locomotor behavior and dampens PER and TIM oscillations in light-dark cycles. In constant conditions, CUL-3 deregulation induces behavioral arrhythmicity and rapidly abolishes TIM cycling, with slower effects on PER. CUL-3 affects TIM accumulation more strongly in the absence of PER and forms protein complexes with hypo-phosphorylated TIM. In contrast, SLMB affects TIM more strongly in the presence of PER and preferentially associates with phosphorylated TIM. CUL-3 and SLMB show additive effects on TIM and PER, suggesting different roles for the two ubiquitination complexes on PER and TIM cycling. This work thus shows that CUL-3 is a new component of the Drosophila clock, which plays an important role in the control of TIM oscillations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center