Downloading central clock information in Drosophila

Mol Neurobiol. Oct-Dec 2002;26(2-3):217-33. doi: 10.1385/MN:26:2-3:217.


Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) neuropeptide is an important neurochemical that carries circadian timing information originating from the central oscillator in Drosophila. Several core-clock factors function as upstream pdf regulators; the dClock and cycle genes control pdf transcription, whereas the period and timeless genes regulate post-translational processes of PDF via unknown mechanisms. For a downstream neural path, PDF most likely acts as a local modulator, which binds to its receptors that are possibly linked to Ras/MAPK signaling pathways. PDF receptor-containing cells seem to localize in the vicinity of nerve terminals from pace-making neurons. Although PDF is likely to be a principal clock-output factor, our recent evidence predicts the presence of other neuropeptides with rhythm-relevant functions. Furthermore, recent microarray screens have identified numerous potential clock-controlled genes, suggesting that diverse physiological processes might be affected by the biological clock system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Clk protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Transcription Factors
  • pdf protein, Drosophila
  • CLOCK Proteins