Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Circadian rhythm: Clock-controlled genes discovered in C. elegans

Date:
December 18, 2010
Source:
University of Nevada, Reno
Summary:
It's just a worm, a tiny soil-dwelling nematode worm -- but the implications are big for biomedicine and circadian biology as shown in a recent study. Researchers have now discovered clock-controlled genes in C. elegans.

It's just a worm, a tiny soil-dwelling nematode worm -- but the implications are big for biomedicine and circadian biology as shown in a recent study authored by University of Nevada, Reno researcher Alexander van der Linden. The article on the circadian clock of the Caenorhabditis elegans worm was published in the peer-reviewed, open-access journal, PLoS Biology.

"Circadian rhythms are important in all organisms because they regulate biological functions such as food intake, temperature, metabolic rate and sleep," van der Linden said. "The discovery of clock-controlled genes in C. elegans should lead to an expanded research role in worms, and give a better understanding of the mammalian circadian clock.

For more than two decades, researchers have wondered whether C. elegans, one of the foremost research model organisms, contains a circadian clock. Circadian rhythmic behaviors described previously in C. elegans are variable and hard to quantify, and no genes were known to exhibit gene expression oscillations with 24-hour cycles as shown in many other animals.

Now, a team of researchers led by professors of biology Piali Sengupta and Michael Rosbash at Brandeis University, Waltham, and lead author van der Linden, who is a former postdoctoral fellow in the Sengupta Lab and now assistant professor in the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno, has uncovered genes in C. elegans under clock control from both light and temperature.

"C. elegans offers several advantages to study the function of human disease genes through their corresponding worm genes," he said. "We now not only have a new model to study the function of this important biological clock, but we can also study how the clock evolved over time, since nematodes and humans diverged about 600 to 1,200 million years ago."

Almost every organism on earth exhibits circadian rhythms -- periodic cycles of behavior or gene expression that repeat roughly every 24 hours. These rhythms are generated by a circadian clock -- an internal time-keeping mechanism -- which can be entrained and synchronized by environmental signals such as temperature or light/dark cycles.

"Given its small and well-mapped nervous system, combined with a wealth of available genetic and behavioral tools, C. elegans is a viable research organism in the circadian field," van der Linden said. "The next critical step will be to determine how these worm molecular rhythms relate to circdian behavioral rhythms."

Other authors who contributed to this work include graduate students Matthew Beverly, Joseph Rodriquez and Sara Wasserman (now a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA) at Brandeis University, and Sebastian Kadener, a former postdoctoral fellow who is now an assistant professor at the Silberman Institute of Life Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, a National Science Foundation IGERT training grant, a Human Frontiers Science Program Long-term Fellowship and Career Development Award (SK) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (MR).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nevada, Reno. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexander M. van der Linden, Matthew Beverly, Sebastian Kadener, Joseph Rodriguez, Sara Wasserman, Michael Rosbash, Piali Sengupta. Genome-Wide Analysis of Light- and Temperature-Entrained Circadian Transcripts in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Biology, 2010; 8 (10): e1000503 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000503

Cite This Page:

University of Nevada, Reno. "Circadian rhythm: Clock-controlled genes discovered in C. elegans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101217091210.htm>.
University of Nevada, Reno. (2010, December 18). Circadian rhythm: Clock-controlled genes discovered in C. elegans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101217091210.htm
University of Nevada, Reno. "Circadian rhythm: Clock-controlled genes discovered in C. elegans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101217091210.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins