The period (per) gene is an essential component of the circadian timekeeping mechanism in Drosophila. This gene is expressed in a circadian manner, giving rise to a protein that feeds-back to regulate its own transcription. A 69 bp clock regulatory sequence (CRS) has been identified previously upstream of the period gene. The CRS confers wild-type mRNA cycling when used to drive a lacZ reporter gene in transgenic flies. To determine whether the CRS also mediates proper developmental and spatial expression and behavioral rescue, we used the CRS to drive either lacZ or per in transgenic flies. The results show that the CRS is able to activate expression in pacemaker neuron precursors in larvae and essentially all tissues that normally express per in pupae and adults. The CRS is sufficient to rescue circadian feedback loop function and behavioral rhythms in per01 flies. However, the period of locomotor activity rhythms shortens if a stronger basal promoter is used. This study shows that regulatory elements sufficient for clock-dependent and tissue-specific per expression in larvae, pupae, and adults are present in the CRS and that the period of adult locomotor activity rhythms is dependent, in part, on the overall level of per transcripts.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 1999|
- Circadian clock
- Developmental expression
- Period gene
- Transcriptional regulation