Identification of two amino acids in the C-terminal domain of mouse CRY2 essential for PER2 interaction.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cryptochromes (CRYs) are a class of flavoprotein blue-light signaling receptors found in plants and animals, and they control plant development and the entrainment of circadian rhythms. They also act as integral parts of the central circadian oscillator in humans and other animals. In mammals, the CLOCK-BMAL1 heterodimer activates transcription of the Per and Cry genes as well as clock-regulated genes. The PER2 proteins interact with CRY and CKI?, and the resulting ternary complexes translocate into the nucleus, where they negatively regulate the transcription of Per and Cry core clock genes and other clock-regulated output genes. Recent studies have indicated that the extended C-termini of the mammalian CRYs, as compared to photolyase proteins, interact with PER proteins. RESULTS: We identified a region on mCRY2 (between residues 493 and 512) responsible for direct physical interaction with mPER2 by mammalian two-hybrid and co-immunoprecipitation assays. Moreover, using oligonucleotide-based degenerate PCR, we discovered that mutation of Arg-501 and Lys-503 of mCRY2 within this C-terminal region totally abolishes interaction with PER2. CONCLUSIONS: Our results identify mCRY2 amino acid residues that interact with the mPER2 binding region and suggest the potential for rational drug design to inhibit CRYs for specific therapeutic approaches.
Project description:Many biochemical, physiological, and behavioral processes display daily rhythms generated by an internal timekeeping mechanism referred to as the circadian clock. The core oscillator driving this clock is located in the ventral part of the hypothalamus, the so called suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). At the molecular level, this oscillator is thought to be composed of interlocking autoregulatory feedback loops involving a set of clock genes. Among the components driving the mammalian circadian clock are the Period 1 and 2 (mPer1 and mPer2) and Cryptochrome 1 and 2 (mCry1 and mCry2) genes. A mutation in the mPer2 gene leads to a gradual loss of circadian rhythmicity in mice kept in constant darkness (DD). Here we show that inactivation of the mCry2 gene in mPer2 mutant mice restores circadian rhythmicity and normal clock gene expression patterns. Thus, mCry2 can act as a nonallelic suppressor of mPer2, which points to direct or indirect interactions of PER2 and CRY2 proteins. In marked contrast, inactivation of mCry1 in mPer2 mutant mice does not restore circadian rhythmicity but instead results in complete behavioral arrhythmicity in DD, indicating different effects of mCry1 and mCry2 in the clock mechanism
Project description:BACKGROUND: Circadian oscillation of clock-controlled gene expression is mainly regulated at the transcriptional level. Heterodimers of CLOCK and BMAL1 act as activators of target gene transcription; however, interactions of PER and CRY proteins with the heterodimer abolish its transcriptional activation capacity. PER and CRY are therefore referred to as negative regulators of the circadian clock. To further elucidate the mechanism how positive and negative components of the clock interplay, we characterized the interactions of PER2, CRY1 and CRY2 with BMAL1 and CLOCK using a mammalian two-hybrid system and co-immunoprecipitation assays. RESULTS: Both PER2 and the CRY proteins were found to interact with BMAL1 whereas only PER2 interacts with CLOCK. CRY proteins seem to have a higher affinity to BMAL1 than PER2. Moreover, we provide evidence that PER2, CRY1 and CRY2 bind to different domains in the BMAL1 protein. CONCLUSION: The regulators of clock-controlled transcription PER2, CRY1 and CRY2 differ in their capacity to interact with each single component of the BMAL1-CLOCK heterodimer and, in the case of BMAL1, also in their interaction sites. Our data supports the hypothesis that CRY proteins, especially CRY1, are stronger repressors than PER proteins.
Project description:Nuclear entry of circadian oscillatory gene products is a key step for the generation of a 24-hr cycle of the biological clock. We have examined nuclear import of clock proteins of the mammalian period gene family and the effect of serum shock, which induces a synchronous clock in cultured cells. Previously, mCRY1 and mCRY2 have been found to complex with PER proteins leading to nuclear import. Here we report that nuclear translocation of mPER1 and mPER2 (1) involves physical interactions with mPER3, (2) is accelerated by serum treatment, and (3) still occurs in mCry1/mCry2 double-deficient cells lacking a functional biological clock. Moreover, nuclear localization of endogenous mPER1 was observed in cultured mCry1/mCry2 double-deficient cells as well as in the liver and the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of mCry1/mCry2 double-mutant mice. This indicates that nuclear translocation of at least mPER1 also can occur under physiological conditions (i.e., in the intact mouse) in the absence of any CRY protein. The mPER3 amino acid sequence predicts the presence of a cytoplasmic localization domain (CLD) and a nuclear localization signal (NLS). Deletion analysis suggests that the interplay of the CLD and NLS proposed to regulate nuclear entry of PER in Drosophila is conserved in mammals, but with the novel twist that mPER3 can act as the dimerizing partner.
Project description:The mPer1, mPer2, mCry1, and mCry2 genes play a central role in the molecular mechanism driving the central pacemaker of the mammalian circadian clock, located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus. In vitro studies suggest a close interaction of all mPER and mCRY proteins. We investigated mPER and mCRY interactions in vivo by generating different combinations of mPer/mCry double-mutant mice. We previously showed that mCry2 acts as a nonallelic suppressor of mPer2 in the core clock mechanism. Here, we focus on the circadian phenotypes of mPer1/mCry double-mutant animals and find a decay of the clock with age in mPer1-/- mCry2-/- mice at the behavioral and the molecular levels. Our findings indicate that complexes consisting of different combinations of mPER and mCRY proteins are not redundant in vivo and have different potentials in transcriptional regulation in the system of autoregulatory feedback loops driving the circadian clock.
Project description:Cryptochrome (CRY) plays an important role in the input of circadian clocks in various species, but gene copies in each species are evolutionarily divergent. Type I CRYs function as a photoreceptor molecule in the central clock, whereas type II CRYs directly regulate the transcriptional activity of clock proteins. Functions of other types of animal CRYs in the molecular clock remain unknown. The water flea Daphnia magna contains four Cry genes. However, it is still difficult to analyse these four genes. In this study, we took advantage of powerful genetic resources available from Drosophila to investigate evolutionary and functional differentiation of CRY proteins between the two species. We report differences in subcellular localisation of each D. magna CRY protein when expressed in the Drosophila clock neuron. Circadian rhythm behavioural experiments revealed that D. magna CRYs are not functionally conserved in the Drosophila molecular clock. These findings provide a new perspective on the evolutionary conservation of CRY, as functions of the four D. magna CRY proteins have diverse subcellular localisation levels. Furthermore, molecular clocks of D. magna have been evolutionarily differentiated from those of Drosophila. This study highlights the extensive functional diversity existing among species in their complement of Cry genes.
Project description:Circadian rhythms in mammals are generated by a transcriptional negative feedback loop that is driven primarily by oscillations of PER and CRY, which inhibit their own transcriptional activators, CLOCK and BMAL1. Current models posit that CRY is the dominant repressor, while PER may play an accessory role. In this study, however, constitutive expression of PER, and not CRY1, severely disrupted the clock in fibroblasts and liver. Furthermore, constitutive expression of PER2 in the brain and SCN of transgenic mice caused a complete loss of behavioral circadian rhythms in a conditional and reversible manner. These results demonstrate that rhythmic levels of PER2, rather than CRY1, are critical for circadian oscillations in cells and in the intact organism. Our biochemical evidence supports an elegant mechanism for the disparity: PER2 directly and rhythmically binds to CLOCK:BMAL1, while CRY only interacts indirectly; PER2 bridges CRY and CLOCK:BMAL1 to drive the circadian negative feedback loop.
Project description:At the molecular level, the circadian clock is regulated by a time delayed transcriptional-translational feedback loop in which the core proteins interact with each other rhythmically to drive daily biological rhythms. The C-terminal domain of a key clock protein PER2 (PER2c) plays a critically important role in the loop, not only for its interaction with the binding partner CRY proteins but also for the CRY/PER complex's translocation from the cytosol to the nucleus. Previous circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopic studies have shown that mouse PER2c (mPER2c) is less structured in solution by itself but folded into stable secondary structures upon interaction with mouse CRYs. To understand the stability and folding of human PER2c (hPER2c), we expressed and purified hPER2c. Three oligomerization forms of recombinant hPER2c were identified and thoroughly characterized through a combination of biochemical and biophysical techniques. Different to mPER2c, both thermal unfolding DLS and CD analyses suggested that all forms of hPER2c have very stable secondary structures in solution by themselves with melting temperatures higher than the physiological body temperature, indicating that hPER2c does not require CRY to fold. Furthermore, we examined the effects of EDTA, salt concentration, and a reducing agent on hPER2c folding and oligomerization. The ability of hPER2c forming oligomers reflects the potential role of hPER2c in the assembly of circadian rhythm core protein complexes.
Project description:The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) defines 24 h of time via a transcriptional/posttranslational feedback loop in which transactivation of Per (period) and Cry (cryptochrome) genes by BMAL1-CLOCK complexes is suppressed by PER-CRY complexes. The molecular/structural basis of how circadian protein complexes function is poorly understood. We describe a novel N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced mutation, early doors (Edo), in the PER-ARNT-SIM (PAS) domain dimerization region of period 2 (PER2) (I324N) that accelerates the circadian clock of Per2(Edo/Edo) mice by 1.5 h. Structural and biophysical analyses revealed that Edo alters the packing of the highly conserved interdomain linker of the PER2 PAS core such that, although PER2(Edo) complexes with clock proteins, its vulnerability to degradation mediated by casein kinase 1? (CSNK1E) is increased. The functional relevance of this mutation is revealed by the ultrashort (<19 h) but robust circadian rhythms in Per2(Edo/Edo); Csnk1e(Tau/Tau) mice and the SCN. These periods are unprecedented in mice. Thus, Per2(Edo) reveals a direct causal link between the molecular structure of the PER2 PAS core and the pace of SCN circadian timekeeping.
Project description:Cryptochromes (CRYs) are composed of a core domain with structural similarity to photolyase and a distinguishing C-terminal extension. While plant and fly CRYs act as circadian photoreceptors, using the C terminus for light signaling, mammalian CRY1 and CRY2 are integral components of the circadian oscillator. However, the function of their C terminus remains to be resolved. Here, we show that the C-terminal extension of mCRY1 harbors a nuclear localization signal and a putative coiled-coil domain that drive nuclear localization via two independent mechanisms and shift the equilibrium of shuttling mammalian CRY1 (mCRY1)/mammalian PER2 (mPER2) complexes towards the nucleus. Importantly, deletion of the complete C terminus prevents mCRY1 from repressing CLOCK/BMAL1-mediated transcription, whereas a plant photolyase gains this key clock function upon fusion to the last 100 amino acids of the mCRY1 core and its C terminus. Thus, the acquirement of different (species-specific) C termini during evolution not only functionally separated cryptochromes from photolyase but also caused diversity within the cryptochrome family.
Project description:Circadian rhythms in mammals are driven by a feedback loop in which the transcription factor Clock-Bmal1 activates expression of Per and Cry proteins, which together form a large nuclear complex (Per complex) that represses Clock-Bmal1 activity. We found that mouse Clock-Bmal1 recruits the Ddb1-Cullin-4 ubiquitin ligase to Per (Per1 and Per2), Cry (Cry1 and Cry2) and other circadian target genes. Histone H2B monoubiquitination at Per genes was rhythmic and depended on Bmal1, Ddb1 and Cullin-4a. Depletion of Ddb1-Cullin-4a or an independent decrease in H2B monoubiquitination caused defective circadian feedback and decreased the association of the Per complex with DNA-bound Clock-Bmal1. Clock-Bmal1 thus covalently marks Per genes for subsequent recruitment of the Per complex. Our results reveal a chromatin-mediated signal from the positive to the negative limb of the clock that provides a licensing mechanism for circadian feedback.