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Neuron. 1994 Oct;13(4):967-74.

Altered circadian pacemaker functions and cyclic AMP rhythms in the Drosophila learning mutant dunce.

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  • 1Neurobiology Group, Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts 01545.

Abstract

Neural circadian pacemakers can be reset by light, and the resetting mechanism may involve cyclic nucleotide second messengers. We have examined pacemaker resetting and free-running activity rhythms in Drosophila dunce (dnc) and DC0 mutants, which identify a cAMP specific phosphodiesterase and the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase, respectively. dnc mutants exhibit augmented light-induced phase delays and shortened circadian periods, which indicate altered pacemaker function. Interestingly, however, light-induced phase advances are normal in dnc, suggesting a selective effect on one component of the pacemaker resetting response. Furthermore, we demonstrate the presence of circadian rhythms in cAMP content in head tissues and show that dnc mutations increase the amplitude of daily cAMP peaks. These results show that cAMP levels are not chronically elevated in the dnc mutant. A role for cAMP signaling in circadian processes is also suggested by an analysis of DC0 mutants, which have severe kinase deficits and display arrhythmic locomotor activity.

PMID:
7946340
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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