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A direct repeat of E-box-like elements is required for cell-autonomous circadian rhythm of clock genes

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Author(s): Nakahata Yasukazu | Yoshida Mayumi | Takano Atsuko | Soma Haruhiko | Yamamoto Takuro | Yasuda Akio | Nakatsu Toru | Takumi Toru

Journal: BMC Molecular Biology
ISSN 1471-2199

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background The circadian expression of the mammalian clock genes is based on transcriptional feedback loops. Two basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) PAS (for Period-Arnt-Sim) domain-containing transcriptional activators, CLOCK and BMAL1, are known to regulate gene expression by interacting with a promoter element termed the E-box (CACGTG). The non-canonical E-boxes or E-box-like sequences have also been reported to be necessary for circadian oscillation. Results We report a new cis-element required for cell-autonomous circadian transcription of clock genes. This new element consists of a canonical E-box or a non-canonical E-box and an E-box-like sequence in tandem with the latter with a short interval, 6 base pairs, between them. We demonstrate that both E-box or E-box-like sequences are needed to generate cell-autonomous oscillation. We also verify that the spacing nucleotides with constant length between these 2 E-elements are crucial for robust oscillation. Furthermore, by in silico analysis we conclude that several clock and clock-controlled genes possess a direct repeat of the E-box-like elements in their promoter region. Conclusion We propose a novel possible mechanism regulated by double E-box-like elements, not to a single E-box, for circadian transcriptional oscillation. The direct repeat of the E-box-like elements identified in this study is the minimal required element for the generation of cell-autonomous transcriptional oscillation of clock and clock-controlled genes.
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