Non-canonical Phototransduction Mediates Synchronization of the Drosophila melanogaster Circadian Clock and Retinal Light Responses.
ABSTRACT: The daily light-dark cycles represent a key signal for synchronizing circadian clocks. Both insects and mammals possess dedicated "circadian" photoreceptors but also utilize the visual system for clock resetting. In Drosophila, circadian clock resetting is achieved by the blue-light photoreceptor cryptochrome (CRY), which is expressed within subsets of the brain clock neurons. In addition, rhodopsin-expressing photoreceptor cells contribute to light synchronization. Light resets the molecular clock by CRY-dependent degradation of the clock protein Timeless (TIM), although in specific subsets of key circadian pacemaker neurons, including the small ventral lateral neurons (s-LNvs), TIM and Period (PER) oscillations can be synchronized by light independent of CRY and canonical visual Rhodopsin phototransduction. Here, we show that at least three of the seven Drosophila rhodopsins can utilize an alternative transduction mechanism involving the same ?-subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein operating in canonical visual phototransduction (Gq). Surprisingly, in mutants lacking the canonical phospholipase C-? (PLC-?) encoded by the no receptor potential A (norpA) gene, we uncovered a novel transduction pathway using a different PLC-? encoded by the Plc21C gene. This novel pathway is important for behavioral clock resetting to semi-natural light-dark cycles and mediates light-dependent molecular synchronization within the s-LNv clock neurons. The same pathway appears to be responsible for norpA-independent light responses in the compound eye. We show that Rhodopsin 5 (Rh5) and Rh6, present in the R8 subset of retinal photoreceptor cells, drive both the long-term circadian and rapid light responses in the eye.
Project description:Circadian clocks of most organisms are synchronized with the 24-hour solar day by the changes of light and dark. In Drosophila, both the visual photoreceptors in the compound eyes as well as the blue-light photoreceptor Cryptochrome expressed within the brain clock neurons contribute to this clock synchronization. A specialized photoreceptive structure located between the retina and the optic lobes, the Hofbauer-Buchner (H-B) eyelet, projects to the clock neurons in the brain and also participates in light synchronization. The compound eye photoreceptors and the H-B eyelet contain Rhodopsin photopigments, which activate the canonical invertebrate phototransduction cascade after being excited by light. We show here that 2 of the photopigments present in these photoreceptors, Rhodopsin 5 (Rh5) and Rhodopsin 6 (Rh6), contribute to light synchronization in a mutant (norpA(P41) ) that disrupts canonical phototransduction due to the absence of Phospholipase C-? (PLC-?). We reveal that norpA(P41) is a true loss-of-function allele, resulting in a truncated PLC-? protein that lacks the catalytic domain. Light reception mediated by Rh5 and Rh6 must therefore utilize either a different (nonretinal) PLC-? enzyme or alternative signaling mechanisms, at least in terms of clock-relevant photoreception. This novel signaling mode may distinguish Rhodopsin-mediated irradiance detection from image-forming vision in Drosophila.
Project description:Animals partition their daily activity rhythms through their internal circadian clocks, which are synchronized by oscillating day-night cycles of light. The fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster senses day-night cycles in part through rhodopsin-dependent light reception in the compound eye and photoreceptor cells in the Hofbauer-Buchner eyelet. A more noteworthy light entrainment pathway is mediated by central pacemaker neurons in the brain. The Drosophila circadian clock is extremely sensitive to light. However, the only known light sensor in pacemaker neurons, the flavoprotein cryptochrome (Cry), responds only to high levels of light in vitro. These observations indicate that there is an additional light-sensing pathway in fly pacemaker neurons. Here we describe a previously uncharacterized rhodopsin, Rh7, which contributes to circadian light entrainment by circadian pacemaker neurons in the brain. The pacemaker neurons respond to violet light, and this response depends on Rh7. Loss of either cry or rh7 caused minor defects in photoentrainment, whereas loss of both caused profound impairment. The circadian photoresponse to constant light was impaired in rh7 mutant flies, especially under dim light. The demonstration that Rh7 functions in circadian pacemaker neurons represents, to our knowledge, the first role for an opsin in the central brain.
Project description:Background:Entrainment to the environmental light cycle is an essential property of the circadian clock. Although the compound eye is known to be the major photoreceptor necessary for entrainment in many insects, the molecular mechanisms of photic entrainment remain to be explored. Results:We found that cryptochromes (crys) and c-fos mediate photic entrainment of the circadian clock in a hemimetabolous insect, the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. We examined the effects of RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of the cry genes, Gb'cry1 and Gb'cry2, on photic entrainment, and light-induced resetting of the circadian locomotor rhythm. Gb'cry2 RNAi accelerated entrainment for delay shifts, while Gb'cry1/ Gb'cry2 double RNAi resulted in significant lengthening of transient cycles in both advance and delay shifts, and even in entrainment failure in some crickets. Double RNAi also strongly suppressed light induced resetting. The Gb'cry-mediated phase shift or resetting of the rhythm was preceded by light-induced Gb'c-fosB expression. We also found that Gb'c-fosB, Gb'cry2 and Gb'period (Gb'per) were likely co-expressed in some optic lobe neurons. Conclusion:Based on these results, we propose a novel model for photic entrainment of the insect circadian clock, which relies on the light information perceived by the compound eye.
Project description:Organisms ranging from bacteria to humans synchronize their internal clocks to daily cycles of light and dark. Photic entrainment of the Drosophila clock is mediated by proteasomal degradation of the clock protein TIMELESS (TIM). We have identified mutations in jetlag-a gene coding for an F-box protein with leucine-rich repeats-that result in reduced light sensitivity of the circadian clock. Mutant flies show rhythmic behavior in constant light, reduced phase shifts in response to light pulses, and reduced light-dependent degradation of TIM. Expression of JET along with the circadian photoreceptor cryptochrome (CRY) in cultured S2R cells confers light-dependent degradation onto TIM, thereby reconstituting the acute response + of the circadian clock to light in a cell culture system. Our results suggest that JET is essential for resetting the clock by transmitting light signals from CRY to TIM.
Project description:<i>Drosophila</i> CRYPTOCHROME (CRY) is a blue light sensitive protein with a key role in circadian photoreception. A main feature of CRY is that light promotes an interaction with the circadian protein TIMELESS (TIM) resulting in their ubiquitination and degradation, a mechanism that contributes to the synchronization of the circadian clock to the environment. Moreover, CRY participates in non-circadian functions such as magnetoreception, modulation of neuronal firing, phototransduction and regulation of synaptic plasticity. In the present study we used co-immunoprecipitation, yeast 2 hybrid (Y2H) and <i>in situ</i> proximity ligation assay (PLA) to show that CRY can physically associate with the presynaptic protein BRUCHPILOT (BRP) and that CRY-BRP complexes are located mainly in the visual system. Additionally, we present evidence that light-activated CRY may decrease BRP levels in photoreceptor termini in the distal lamina, probably targeting BRP for degradation.
Project description:Cryptochrome (CRY) is a blue-light sensitive flavoprotein that functions as the primary circadian photoreceptor in Drosophila melanogaster. The mechanism by which it transmits the light signal to the core clock circuitry is not known. We conducted in vitro studies on the light-induced conformational change in CRY and its effect on protein-protein interaction and performed in vivo analysis of the lifetime of the signaling state of the protein to gain some insight into the mechanism of phototransduction. We find that exposure of CRY to blue light induces a conformation similar to that of the constitutively active CRY mutant with a C-terminal deletion (CRY?). This light-induced conformation has a half-life of ?15 min in the dark at 25?°C and is characterized by increased affinity to Jetlag E3 ligase. In vivo analysis reveals that in the Drosophila S2 cell line, the signaling state induced by a millisecond light exposure has a half-life of 27 min in the dark at 0?°C during which period it is susceptible to degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. These findings lead to a plausible model for circadian photoreception/phototransduction in Drosophila.
Project description:Cryptochromes (CRYs) are a class of flavoproteins that sense blue light. In animals, CRYs are expressed in the eyes and in the clock neurons that control sleep/wake cycles and are implied in the generation and/or entrainment of circadian rhythmicity. Moreover, CRYs are sensing magnetic fields in insects as well as in humans. Here, we show that in the fruit fly <i>Drosophila melanogaster</i> CRY plays a light-independent role as "assembling" protein in the rhabdomeres of the compound eyes. CRY interacts with actin and appears to increase light sensitivity of the eyes by keeping the "signalplex" of the phototransduction cascade close to the membrane. By this way, CRY also enhances light-responses of the circadian clock.
Project description:Photic entrainment of insect circadian rhythms can occur through either extraretinal (brain) or retinal photoreceptors, which mediate sensitivity to blue light or longer wavelengths, respectively. Although visual transduction processes are well understood in the insect retina, almost nothing is known about the extraretinal blue light photoreceptor of insects. We now have identified and characterized a candidate blue light photoreceptor gene in Drosophila (DCry) that is homologous to the cryptochrome (Cry) genes of mammals and plants. The DCry gene is located in region 91F of the third chromosome, an interval that does not contain other genes required for circadian rhythmicity. The protein encoded by DCry is approximately 50% identical to the CRY1 and CRY2 proteins recently discovered in mammalian species. As expected for an extraretinal photoreceptor mediating circadian entrainment, DCry mRNA is expressed within the adult brain and can be detected within body tissues. Indeed, tissue in situ hybridization demonstrates prominent expression in cells of the lateral brain, which are close to or coincident with the Drosophila clock neurons. Interestingly, DCry mRNA abundance oscillates in a circadian manner in Drosophila head RNA extracts, and the temporal phasing of the rhythm is similar to that documented for the mouse Cry1 mRNA, which is expressed in clock tissues. Finally, we show that changes in DCry gene dosage are associated predictably with alterations of the blue light resetting response for the circadian rhythm of adult locomotor activity.
Project description:Cryptochrome (CRY) is the primary photoreceptor of Drosophila's circadian clock. It resets the circadian clock by promoting light-induced degradation of the clock protein Timeless (TIM) in the proteasome. Under constant light, the clock stops because TIM is absent, and the flies become arrhythmic. In addition to TIM degradation, light also induces CRY degradation. This depends on the interaction of CRY with several proteins such as the E3 ubiquitin ligases Jetlag (JET) and Ramshackle (BRWD3). However, CRY can seemingly also be stabilized by interaction with the kinase Shaggy (SGG), the GSK-3 beta fly orthologue. Consequently, flies with SGG overexpression in certain dorsal clock neurons are reported to remain rhythmic under constant light. We were interested in the interaction between CRY, Ramshackle and SGG and started to perform protein interaction studies in S2 cells. To our surprise, we were not able to replicate the results, that SGG overexpression does stabilize CRY, neither in S2 cells nor in the relevant clock neurons. SGG rather does the contrary. Furthermore, flies with SGG overexpression in the dorsal clock neurons became arrhythmic as did wild-type flies. Nevertheless, we could reproduce the published interaction of SGG with TIM, since flies with SGG overexpression in the lateral clock neurons shortened their free-running period. We conclude that SGG does not directly interact with CRY but rather with TIM. Furthermore we could demonstrate, that an unspecific antibody explains the observed stabilization effects on CRY.
Project description:Circadian pacemakers are essential to synchronize animal physiology and behavior with the dayrationight cycle. They are self-sustained, but the phase of their oscillations is determined by environmental cues, particularly light intensity and temperature cycles. In Drosophila, light is primarily detected by a dedicated blue-light photoreceptor: CRYPTOCHROME (CRY). Upon light activation, CRY binds to the pacemaker protein TIMELESS (TIM) and triggers its proteasomal degradation, thus resetting the circadian pacemaker. To understand further the CRY input pathway, we conducted a misexpression screen under constant light based on the observation that flies with a disruption in the CRY input pathway remain robustly rhythmic instead of becoming behaviorally arrhythmic. We report the identification of more than 20 potential regulators of CRY-dependent light responses. We demonstrate that one of them, the chromatin-remodeling enzyme KISMET (KIS), is necessary for normal circadian photoresponses, but does not affect the circadian pacemaker. KIS genetically interacts with CRY and functions in PDF-negative circadian neurons, which play an important role in circadian light responses. It also affects daily CRY-dependent TIM oscillations in a peripheral tissue: the eyes. We therefore conclude that KIS is a key transcriptional regulator of genes that function in the CRY signaling cascade, and thus it plays an important role in the synchronization of circadian rhythms with the dayrationight cycle.