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J Biol Rhythms. 2017 Jun;32(3):212-221. doi: 10.1177/0748730417704534. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Akt1 Controls the Timing and Amplitude of Vascular Circadian Gene Expression.

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Department of Pharmacology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


The AKT signaling pathway is important for circadian rhythms in mammals and flies ( Drosophila). However, AKT signaling in mammals is more complicated since there are 3 isoforms of AKT, each performing slightly different functions. Here we study the most ubiquitous AKT isoform, Akt1, and its role at the organismal level in the central and vascular peripheral clocks. Akt1-/- mice exhibit relatively normal behavioral rhythms with only minor differences in circadian gene expression in the liver and heart. However, circadian gene expression in the Akt1-/- aorta, compared with control aorta, follows a distinct pattern. In the Akt1-/- aorta, positive regulators of circadian transcription have lower amplitude rhythms and peak earlier in the day, and negative circadian regulators are expressed at higher amplitudes and peak later in the day. In endothelial cells, negative circadian regulators exhibit an increased amplitude of expression, while the positive circadian regulators are arrhythmic with a decreased amplitude of expression. This indicates that Akt1 conditions the normal circadian rhythm in the vasculature more so than in other peripheral tissues where other AKT isoforms or kinases might be important for daily rhythms.


Akt; amplitude; aorta; circadian rhythms; gene expression

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