Living organisms undergo biochemical, physiological and behavioral cycles with periods ranging from seconds to years. Cycles with intermediate periods are governed by endogenous clocks that depend on oscillating gene expression. Here we illustrate the modalities and specific functions of post-transcriptional control of gene expression (exerted on pre-mRNAs and mRNAs) in biological clocks through two examples: the circadian clock and the vertebrate somite segmentation clock, an embryonic clock with a period far below a day. We conclude that both constitutive and cyclic post-transcriptional controls underpin clock function.
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