AMPK regulates the circadian clock by cryptochrome phosphorylation and degradation.
ABSTRACT Circadian clocks coordinate behavioral and physiological processes with daily light-dark cycles by driving rhythmic transcription of thousands of genes. Whereas the master clock in the brain is set by light, pacemakers in peripheral organs, such as the liver, are reset by food availability, although the setting, or "entrainment," mechanisms remain mysterious. Studying mouse fibroblasts, we demonstrated that the nutrient-responsive adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylates and destabilizes the clock component cryptochrome 1 (CRY1). In mouse livers, AMPK activity and nuclear localization were rhythmic and inversely correlated with CRY1 nuclear protein abundance. Stimulation of AMPK destabilized cryptochromes and altered circadian rhythms, and mice in which the AMPK pathway was genetically disrupted showed alterations in peripheral clocks. Thus, phosphorylation by AMPK enables cryptochrome to transduce nutrient signals to circadian clocks in mammalian peripheral organs.
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ABSTRACT: Circadian clocks are the endogenous oscillators that harmonize a variety of physiological processes within the body. Although many urinary functions exhibit clear daily or circadian variation in diurnal humans and nocturnal rodents, the precise mechanisms of these variations are as yet unclear. In this review, we briefly introduce circadian clocks and their organization in mammals. We then summarize known daily or circadian variations in urinary function. Importantly, recent findings by others as well as results obtained by us suggest an active role of circadian clock genes in various urinary functions. Finally, we discuss possible research avenues for the circadian control of urinary function.International neurourology journal 06/2011; 15(2):64-73.