Electrical Silencing of Drosophila Pacemaker Neurons Stops the Free-Running Circadian Clock

Cell. 2002 May 17;109(4):485-95. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(02)00737-7.

Abstract

Electrical silencing of Drosophila circadian pacemaker neurons through targeted expression of K+ channels causes severe deficits in free-running circadian locomotor rhythmicity in complete darkness. Pacemaker electrical silencing also stops the free-running oscillation of PERIOD (PER) and TIMELESS (TIM) proteins that constitutes the core of the cell-autonomous molecular clock. In contrast, electrical silencing fails to abolish PER and TIM oscillation in light-dark cycles, although it does impair rhythmic behavior. On the basis of these findings, we propose that electrical activity is an essential element of the free-running molecular clock of pacemaker neurons along with the transcription factors and regulatory enzymes that have been previously identified as required for clock function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks / genetics*
  • Cell Size / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics*
  • Dark Adaptation / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Genes, Lethal / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism
  • Motor Activity / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Nervous System / cytology
  • Nervous System / embryology
  • Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Period Circadian Proteins
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Potassium Channels / deficiency*
  • Potassium Channels / genetics
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / genetics
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / metabolism
  • Synapses / genetics
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synaptic Transmission / genetics*

Substances

  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Ork1 protein, Drosophila
  • PER protein, Drosophila
  • Period Circadian Proteins
  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • tim protein, Drosophila