Alternative polyadenylation factor CPSF6 regulates temperature compensation of the mammalian circadian clock

PLoS Biol. 2023 Jun 28;21(6):e3002164. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3002164. eCollection 2023 Jun.


A defining property of circadian clocks is temperature compensation, characterized by the resilience of their near 24-hour free-running periods against changes in environmental temperature within the physiological range. While temperature compensation is evolutionary conserved across different taxa of life and has been studied within many model organisms, its molecular underpinnings remain elusive. Posttranscriptional regulations such as temperature-sensitive alternative splicing or phosphorylation have been described as underlying reactions. Here, we show that knockdown of cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor subunit 6 (CPSF6), a key regulator of 3'-end cleavage and polyadenylation, significantly alters circadian temperature compensation in human U-2 OS cells. We apply a combination of 3'-end-RNA-seq and mass spectrometry-based proteomics to globally quantify changes in 3' UTR length as well as gene and protein expression between wild-type and CPSF6 knockdown cells and their dependency on temperature. Since changes in temperature compensation behavior should be reflected in alterations of temperature responses within one or all of the 3 regulatory layers, we statistically assess differential responses upon changes in ambient temperature between wild-type and CPSF6 knockdown cells. By this means, we reveal candidate genes underlying circadian temperature compensation, including eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 subunit 1 (EIF2S1).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Clocks* / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mammals
  • Phosphorylation
  • Temperature
  • mRNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factors / genetics


  • mRNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation Factors
  • cleavage factor Im, human