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PLoS Biol. 2013 Dec;11(12):e1001733. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001733. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Circadian period integrates network information through activation of the BMP signaling pathway.

Author information

1
Laboratorio de Genética del Comportamiento, Fundación Instituto Leloir, IIB-BA-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Abstract

Living organisms use biological clocks to maintain their internal temporal order and anticipate daily environmental changes. In Drosophila, circadian regulation of locomotor behavior is controlled by ∼150 neurons; among them, neurons expressing the PIGMENT DISPERSING FACTOR (PDF) set the period of locomotor behavior under free-running conditions. To date, it remains unclear how individual circadian clusters integrate their activity to assemble a distinctive behavioral output. Here we show that the BONE MORPHOGENETIC PROTEIN (BMP) signaling pathway plays a crucial role in setting the circadian period in PDF neurons in the adult brain. Acute deregulation of BMP signaling causes period lengthening through regulation of dClock transcription, providing evidence for a novel function of this pathway in the adult brain. We propose that coherence in the circadian network arises from integration in PDF neurons of both the pace of the cell-autonomous molecular clock and information derived from circadian-relevant neurons through release of BMP ligands.

PMID:
24339749
PMCID:
PMC3858370
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.1001733
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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