DOI: 10.1101/504282Dec 21, 2018Paper

PSI controls tim splicing and circadian period in Drosophila

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Lauren FoleyPatrick Emery


The Drosophila circadian pacemaker consists of transcriptional feedback loops subjected to both post-transcriptional and post-translational regulation. While post-translational regulatory mechanisms have been studied in detail, much less is known about circadian post-transcriptional control. To have a better understanding of the role and mechanisms of circadian post-transcriptional regulation, we targeted 364 RNA binding and RNA associated proteins with RNA interference. Among the 43 genes we identified was the alternative splicing regulator P-element somatic inhibitor (PSI). PSI downregulation shortens the period of circadian rhythms both in the brain and in peripheral tissues. Interestingly, we found that PSI regulates the thermosensitive alternative splicing of timeless (tim), promoting splicing events favored at warm temperature over those increased at cold temperature. Moreover, the period of circadian behavior was insensitive to PSI downregulation when flies could produce functional TIM proteins only from a transgene that cannot form the thermosensitive splicing isoforms. Therefore, we conclude that PSI regulates the period of Drosophila circadian rhythms through its modulation of the tim splicing pattern.

Related Concepts

Circadian Rhythms
RNA Splicing
Transcription, Genetic

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