Splicing of the period gene 3'-terminal intron is regulated by light, circadian clock factors, and phospholipase C.

Molecular and Cellular Biology
J MajercakIsaac Edery


The daily timing of circadian ( congruent with 24-h) controlled activity in many animals exhibits seasonal adjustments, responding to changes in photoperiod (day length) and temperature. In Drosophila melanogaster, splicing of an intron in the 3' untranslated region of the period (per) mRNA is enhanced at cold temperatures, leading to more rapid daily increases in per transcript levels and earlier "evening" activity. Here we show that daily fluctuations in the splicing of this intron (herein referred to as dmpi8) are regulated by the clock in a manner that depends on the photoperiod (day length) and temperature. Shortening the photoperiod enhances dmpi8 splicing and advances its cycle, whereas the amplitude of the clock-regulated daytime decline in splicing increases as temperatures rise. This suggests that at elevated temperatures the clock has a more pronounced role in maintaining low splicing during the day, a mechanism that likely minimizes the deleterious effects of daytime heat on the flies by favoring nocturnal activity during warm days. Light also has acute inhibitory effects, rapidly decreasing the proportion of dmpi8-spliced per transcript, a response that does not require a functional clock. Our results identify a no...Continue Reading


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