此前研究发现，如果生物钟因坐飞机、上夜班等原因被扰乱，常会引起新陈代谢紊乱和不舒服，甚至有可能导致糖尿病等疾病，本次研究进展将有助于相关领域的进一步探索。 Circadian (~24 hour) clocks are fundamentally important for coordinated physiology in organisms as diverse as cyanobacteria and humans. All current models of the molecular circadian clockwork in eukaryotic cells are based on transcription–translation feedback loops. Non-transcriptional mechanisms in the clockwork have been difficult to study in mammalian systems. We circumvented these problems by developing novel assays using human red blood cells, which have no nucleus (or DNA) and therefore cannot perform transcription. Our results show that transcription is not required for circadian oscillations in humans, and that non-transcriptional events seem to be sufficient to sustain cellular circadian rhythms. Using red blood cells, we found that peroxiredoxins, highly conserved antioxidant proteins, undergo ~24-hour redox cycles, which persist for many days under constant conditions (that is, in the absence of external cues). Moreover, these rhythms are entrainable (that is, tunable by environmental stimuli) and temperature-compensated, both key features of circadian rhythms. We anticipate that our findings will facilitate more sophisticated cellular clock models, highlighting the interdependency of transcriptional and non-transcriptional oscillations in potentially all eukaryotic cells.
Circadian rhythms are ubiquitous in eukaryotes, and coordinate numerous aspects of behaviour, physiology and metabolism, from sleep/wake cycles in mammals to growth and photosynthesis in plants1, 2. This daily timekeeping is thought to be driven by transcriptional–translational feedback loops, whereby rhythmic expression of ‘clock’ gene products regulates the expression of associated genes in approximately 24-hour cycles. The specific transcriptional components differ between phylogenetic kingdoms3. The unicellular pico-eukaryotic alga Ostreococcus tauri possesses a naturally minimized clock, which includes many features that are shared with plants, such as a central negative feedback loop that involves the morning-expressed CCA1 and evening-expressed TOC1 genes4. Given that recent observations in animals and plants have revealed prominent post-translational contributions to timekeeping5, a reappraisal of the transcriptional contribution to oscillator function is overdue. Here we show that non-transcriptional mechanisms are sufficient to sustain circadian timekeeping in the eukaryotic lineage, although they normally function in conjunction with transcriptional components. We identify oxidation of peroxiredoxin proteins as a transcription-independent rhythmic biomarker, which is also rhythmic in mammals6. Moreover we show that pharmacological modulators of the mammalian clock mechanism have the same effects on rhythms in Ostreococcus. Post-translational mechanisms, and at least one rhythmic marker, seem to be better conserved than transcriptional clock regulators. It is plausible that the oldest oscillator components are non-transcriptional in nature, as in cyanobacteria7, and are conserved across kingdoms.
作者:admin@医学,生命科学 2011-01-28 13:02