Molecular Mechanisms that Regulate the Coupled Period of the Mammalian Circadian Clock

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In mammals, most cells in the brain and peripheral tissues generate circadian (similar to 24 h) rhythms autonomously. These self-sustained rhythms are coordinated and entrained by a master circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Within the SON, the individual rhythms of each neuron are synchronized through intercellular signaling. One important feature of SON is that the synchronized period is close to the population mean of cells' intrinsic periods. In this way, the synchronized period of the SCN stays close to the periods of cells in peripheral tissues. This is important because the SCN must entrain cells throughout the body. However, the mechanism that drives the period of the coupled SCN cells to the population mean is not known. We use mathematical modeling and analysis to show that the mechanism of transcription repression in the intracellular feedback loop plays a pivotal role in regulating the coupled period. Specifically, we use phase response curve analysis to show that the coupled period within the SCN stays near the population mean if transcriptional repression occurs via protein seguestration. In contrast, the coupled period is far from the mean if repression occurs through highly nonlinear Hill-type regulation (e.g., oligomer- or phosphorylation-based repression), as widely assumed in previous mathematical models. Furthermore, we find that the timescale of intercellular coupling needs to be fast compared to that of intracellular feedback to maintain the mean period. These findings reveal the important relationship between the intracellular transcriptional feedback loop and intercellular coupling. This relationship explains why transcriptional repression appears to occur via protein sequestration in nnulticellular organisms, mammals, and Drosophila, in contrast with the phosphorylation-based repression in unicellular organisms and syncytia. That is, transition to protein sequestration is essential for synchronizing multiple cells with a period close to the population mean (similar to 24 h).
Publisher
CELL PRESS
Issue Date
2014-05
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

VASOACTIVE INTESTINAL POLYPEPTIDE; RAT SUPRACHIASMATIC NUCLEUS; NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LOOP; NEUROSPORA-CRASSA; DESIGN PRINCIPLES; CELLULAR CLOCKS; GENE-EXPRESSION; OSCILLATORS; RHYTHMS; MODEL

Citation

BIOPHYSICAL JOURNAL, v.106, no.9, pp.2071 - 2081

ISSN
0006-3495
DOI
10.1016/j.bpj.2014.02.039
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/203039
Appears in Collection
MA-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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