Cloning of a structural and functional homolog of the circadian clock gene period from the giant silkmoth Antheraea pernyi

Neuron. 1994 Nov;13(5):1167-76. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(94)90054-x.


The period (per) gene of Drosophila plays an important role in circadian clock function. Interestingly, homologs of per have not been cloned outside of dipteran species. Using a PCR strategy, we now report the cloning of the cDNA of a per homolog from the silkmoth Antheraea pernyi. The cDNA encodes a protein of 849 amino acids, which shows highest identity (39%) with the per protein of Drosophila virilis. Stretches of high identity between moth and fly proteins are in the amino terminus, the PAS region, and the region surrounding the site of the per mutation in Drosophila. Moth per homolog mRNA levels exhibit a prominent circadian variation in adult heads, and per protein antibodies show a pronounced variation of per antigen staining in photoreceptor nuclei. With sequence information derived from moth and flies, per-like cDNA fragments were readily cloned by PCR from other moth species and a third insect order.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Bombyx / genetics*
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Manduca / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Period Circadian Proteins
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • PER protein, Drosophila
  • Period Circadian Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U12769
  • GENBANK/U12771
  • GENBANK/U12772
  • GENBANK/U12773