Transcriptional feedback and definition of the circadian pacemaker in Drosophila and animals

M. Rosbash, S. Bradley, S. Kadener, Y. Li, W. Luo, J. S. Menet, E. Nagoshi, K. Palm, R. Schoer, Y. Shang, C. H.A. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The modern era of Drosophila circadian rhythms began with the landmark Benzer and Konopka paper and its definition of the period gene. The recombinant DNA revolution then led to the cloning and sequencing of this gene. This work did not result in a coherent view of circadian rhythm biochemistry, but experiments eventually gave rise to a transcription-centric view of circadian rhythm generation. Although these circadian transcription-translation feedback loops are still important, their contribution to core timekeeping is under challenge. Indeed, kinases and posttranslational regulation may be more important, based in part on recent in vitro work from cyanobacteria. In addition, kinase mutants or suspected kinase substrate mutants have unusually large period effects in Drosophila. This chapter discusses our recent experiments, which indicate that circadian transcription does indeed contribute to period determination in this system. We propose that cyanobacteria and animal clocks reflect two independent origins of circadian rhythms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalCold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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