staff

Rafael Koch

Research assistant in Neuroscience & neurodegeneration

  • T: +41 22 379 34 91
  • office 3014 (Sciences III)
  • USP2-45 Is a Circadian Clock Output Effector Regulating Calcium Absorption at the Post-Translational Level. PLoS ONE 2016 ;11(1):e0145155. 10.1371/journal.pone.0145155. PONE-D-15-15381. PMC4710524.

    abstract

    The mammalian circadian clock influences most aspects of physiology and behavior through the transcriptional control of a wide variety of genes, mostly in a tissue-specific manner. About 20 clock-controlled genes (CCGs) oscillate in virtually all mammalian tissues and are generally considered as core clock components. One of them is Ubiquitin-Specific Protease 2 (Usp2), whose status remains controversial, as it may be a cogwheel regulating the stability or activity of core cogwheels or an output effector. We report here that Usp2 is a clock output effector related to bodily Ca2+ homeostasis, a feature that is conserved across evolution. Drosophila with a whole-body knockdown of the orthologue of Usp2, CG14619 (dUsp2-kd), predominantly die during pupation but are rescued by dietary Ca2+ supplementation. Usp2-KO mice show hyperabsorption of dietary Ca2+ in small intestine, likely due to strong overexpression of the membrane scaffold protein NHERF4, a regulator of the Ca2+ channel TRPV6 mediating dietary Ca2+ uptake. In this tissue, USP2-45 is found in membrane fractions and negatively regulates NHERF4 protein abundance in a rhythmic manner at the protein level. In clock mutant animals (Cry1/Cry2-dKO), rhythmic USP2-45 expression is lost, as well as the one of NHERF4, confirming the inverse relationship between USP2-45 and NHERF4 protein levels. Finally, USP2-45 interacts in vitro with NHERF4 and endogenous Clathrin Heavy Chain. Taken together these data prompt us to define USP2-45 as the first clock output effector acting at the post-translational level at cell membranes and possibly regulating membrane permeability of Ca2+.

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  • Transcriptional regulation via nuclear receptor crosstalk required for the Drosophila circadian clock. Curr. Biol. 2015 Jun;25(11):1502-8. S0960-9822(15)00430-3. 10.1016/j.cub.2015.04.017. PMC4454776.

    abstract

    Circadian clocks in large part rely on transcriptional feedback loops. At the core of the clock machinery, the transcriptional activators CLOCK/BMAL1 (in mammals) and CLOCK/CYCLE (CLK/CYC) (in Drosophila) drive the expression of the period (per) family genes. The PER-containing complexes inhibit the activity of CLOCK/BMAL1 or CLK/CYC, thereby forming a negative feedback loop [1]. In mammals, the ROR and REV-ERB family nuclear receptors add positive and negative transcriptional regulation to this core negative feedback loop to ensure the generation of robust circadian molecular oscillation [2]. Despite the overall similarities between mammalian and Drosophila clocks, whether comparable mechanisms via nuclear receptors are required for the Drosophila clock remains unknown. We show here that the nuclear receptor E75, the fly homolog of REV-ERB α and REV-ERB β, and the NR2E3 subfamily nuclear receptor UNF are components of the molecular clocks in the Drosophila pacemaker neurons. In vivo assays in conjunction with the in vitro experiments demonstrate that E75 and UNF bind to per regulatory sequences and act together to enhance the CLK/CYC-mediated transcription of the per gene, thereby completing the core transcriptional feedback loop necessary for the free-running clockwork. Our results identify a missing link in the Drosophila clock and highlight the significance of the transcriptional regulation via nuclear receptors in metazoan circadian clocks.

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