In the intracellular environment, the circadian oscillator is exposed to molecular noise. Nevertheless, cellular rhythms are robust and show almost constant period length for several weeks. To find which molecular processes modulate the stability, we examined the effects of a sublethal dose of inhibitors for processes in the molecular clock. Inhibition of PER1/2 phosphorylation by CKIε/δ led to reduced amplitude and enhancement of damping, suggesting that inhibition of this process destabilized oscillation. In contrast, moderate inhibition of translation led to stabilization of the circadian oscillation. Moreover, inhibition of translation also reduced magnitude of phase shift. These results suggest that some specific molecular processes are crucial for stabilizing the circadian rhythm, and that the molecular clock may be stabilized by optimizing parameters of some crucial processes in the primary negative feedback loop. Moreover, our findings also suggested that rhythm stability is closely associated with phase stability against stimuli.
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