Morning and evening oscillators cooperate to reset circadian behavior in response to light input. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Light is a crucial input for circadian clocks. In Drosophila, short light exposure can robustly shift the phase of circadian behavior. The model for this resetting posits that circadian photoreception is cell autonomous: CRYPTOCHROME senses light, binds to TIMELESS (TIM), and promotes its degradation, which is mediated by JETLAG (JET). However, it was recently proposed that interactions between circadian neurons are also required for phase resetting. We identify two groups of neurons critical for circadian photoreception: the morning (M) and the evening (E) oscillators. These neurons work synergistically to reset rhythmic behavior. JET promotes acute TIM degradation cell autonomously in M and E oscillators but also nonautonomously in E oscillators when expressed in M oscillators. Thus, upon light exposure, the M oscillators communicate with the E oscillators. Because the M oscillators drive circadian behavior, they must also receive inputs from the E oscillators. Hence, although photic TIM degradation is largely cell autonomous, neural cooperation between M and E oscillators is critical for circadian behavioral photoresponses.

publication date

  • May 8, 2014