Post-transcriptional controls - adding a new layer of regulation to clock gene expression

Trends Cell Biol. 2010 Sep;20(9):533-41. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jul 12.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Embryonic Development
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Somites / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger