The pacemaker properties of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) circadian clock are shaped by mechanisms that influence the expression and behavior of clock proteins. Here, we reveal that G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) modulates the period, amplitude, and entrainment characteristics of the SCN. Grk2-deficient mice show phase-dependent alterations in light-induced entrainment, slower recovery from jetlag, and longer behavioral rhythms. Grk2 ablation perturbs intrinsic rhythmic properties of the SCN, increasing amplitude and decreasing period. At the cellular level, GRK2 suppresses the transcription of the mPeriod1 gene and the trafficking of PERIOD1 and PERIOD2 proteins to the nucleus. Moreover, GRK2 can physically interact with PERIOD1/2 and promote PERIOD2 phosphorylation at Ser545, effects that may underlie its ability to regulate PERIOD1/2 trafficking. Together, our findings identify GRK2 as an important modulator of circadian clock speed, amplitude, and entrainment by controlling PERIOD at the transcriptional and post-translational levels.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.