Erin L McDearmon

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Maryland, United States

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Publications (9)139.14 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: MyoD, a master regulator of myogenesis, exhibits a circadian rhythm in its mRNA and protein levels, suggesting a possible role in the daily maintenance of muscle phenotype and function. We report that MyoD is a direct target of the circadian transcriptional activators CLOCK and BMAL1, which bind in a rhythmic manner to the core enhancer of the MyoD promoter. Skeletal muscle of Clock(Δ19) and Bmal1(-/-) mutant mice exhibited ∼30% reductions in normalized maximal force. A similar reduction in force was observed at the single-fiber level. Electron microscopy (EM) showed that the myofilament architecture was disrupted in skeletal muscle of Clock(Δ19), Bmal1(-/-), and MyoD(-/-) mice. The alteration in myofilament organization was associated with decreased expression of actin, myosins, titin, and several MyoD target genes. EM analysis also demonstrated that muscle from both Clock(Δ19) and Bmal1(-/-) mice had a 40% reduction in mitochondrial volume. The remaining mitochondria in these mutant mice displayed aberrant morphology and increased uncoupling of respiration. This mitochondrial pathology was not seen in muscle of MyoD(-/-) mice. We suggest that altered expression of both Pgc-1α and Pgc-1β in Clock(Δ19) and Bmal1(-/-) mice may underlie this pathology. Taken together, our results demonstrate that disruption of CLOCK or BMAL1 leads to structural and functional alterations at the cellular level in skeletal muscle. The identification of MyoD as a clock-controlled gene provides a mechanism by which the circadian clock may generate a muscle-specific circadian transcriptome in an adaptive role for the daily maintenance of adult skeletal muscle.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2010; 107(44):19090-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Circadian cycles affect a variety of physiological processes, and disruptions of normal circadian biology therefore have the potential to influence a range of disease-related pathways. The genetic basis of circadian rhythms is well studied in model organisms and, more recently, studies of the genetic basis of circadian disorders has confirmed the conservation of key players in circadian biology from invertebrates to humans. In addition, important advances have been made in understanding how these molecules influence physiological functions in tissues throughout the body. Together, these studies set the scene for applying our knowledge of circadian biology to the understanding and treatment of a range of human diseases, including cancer and metabolic and behavioural disorders.
    Nature Reviews Genetics 11/2008; 9(10):764-75. · 41.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Circadian rhythms are approximate 24-h behavioral and physiological cycles that function to prepare an organism for daily environmental changes. The basic clock mechanism is a network of transcriptional-translational feedback loops that drive rhythmic expression of genes over a 24-h period. The objectives of this study were to identify transcripts with a circadian pattern of expression in adult skeletal muscle and to determine the effect of the Clock mutation on gene expression. Expression profiling on muscle samples collected every 4 h for 48 h was performed. Using COSOPT, we identified a total of 215 transcripts as having a circadian pattern of expression. Real-time PCR results verified the circadian expression of the core clock genes, Bmal1, Per2, and Cry2. Annotation revealed cycling genes were involved in a range of biological processes including transcription, lipid metabolism, protein degradation, ion transport, and vesicular trafficking. The tissue specificity of the skeletal muscle circadian transcriptome was highlighted by the presence of known muscle-specific genes such as Myod1, Ucp3, Atrogin1 (Fbxo32), and Myh1 (myosin heavy chain IIX). Expression profiling was also performed on muscle from the Clock mutant mouse and sarcomeric genes such as actin and titin, and many mitochondrial genes were significantly downregulated in the muscle of Clock mutant mice. Defining the circadian transcriptome in adult skeletal muscle and identifying the significant alterations in gene expression that occur in muscle of the Clock mutant mouse provide the basis for understanding the role of circadian rhythms in the daily maintenance of skeletal muscle.
    Physiological Genomics 10/2007; 31(1):86-95. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Circadian rhythms of cell and organismal physiology are controlled by an autoregulatory transcription-translation feedback loop that regulates the expression of rhythmic genes in a tissue-specific manner. Recent studies have suggested that components of the circadian pacemaker, such as the Clock and Per2 gene products, regulate a wide variety of processes, including obesity, sensitization to cocaine, cancer susceptibility, and morbidity to chemotherapeutic agents. To identify a more complete cohort of genes that are transcriptionally regulated by CLOCK and/or circadian rhythms, we used a DNA array interrogating the mouse protein-encoding transcriptome to measure gene expression in liver and skeletal muscle from WT and Clock mutant mice. In WT tissue, we found that a large percentage of expressed genes were transcription factors that were rhythmic in either muscle or liver, but not in both, suggesting that tissue-specific output of the pacemaker is regulated in part by a transcriptional cascade. In comparing tissues from WT and Clock mutant mice, we found that the Clock mutation affects the expression of many genes that are rhythmic in WT tissue, but also profoundly affects many nonrhythmic genes. In both liver and skeletal muscle, a significant number of CLOCK-regulated genes were associated with the cell cycle and cell proliferation. To determine whether the observed patterns in cell-cycle gene expression in Clock mutants resulted in functional dysregulation, we compared proliferation rates of fibroblasts derived from WT or Clock mutant embryos and found that the Clock mutation significantly inhibits cell growth and proliferation.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2007; 104(9):3342-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We performed genome-wide chemical mutagenesis of C57BL/6J mice using N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU). Electroretinographic screening of the third generation offspring revealed two G3 individuals from one G1 family with a normal a-wave but lacking the b-wave that we named nob4. The mutation was transmitted with a recessive mode of inheritance and mapped to chromosome 11 in a region containing the Grm6 gene, which encodes a metabotropic glutamate receptor protein, mGluR6. Sequencing confirmed a single nucleotide substitution from T to C in the Grm6 gene. The mutation is predicted to result in substitution of Pro for Ser at position 185 within the extracellular, ligand-binding domain and oocytes expressing the homologous mutation in mGluR6 did not display robust glutamate-induced currents. Retinal mRNA levels for Grm6 were not significantly reduced, but no immunoreactivity for mGluR6 protein was found. Histological and fundus evaluations of nob4 showed normal retinal morphology. In contrast, the mutation has severe consequences for visual function. In nob4 mice, fewer retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) responded to the onset (ON) of a bright full field stimulus. When ON responses could be evoked, their onset was significantly delayed. Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity, measured with optomotor responses, were reduced under both photopic and scotopic conditions. This mutant will be useful because its phenotype is similar to that of human patients with congenital stationary night blindness and will provide a tool for understanding retinal circuitry and the role of ganglion cell encoding of visual information.
    Visual Neuroscience 12/2006; 24(1):111-23. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) domain transcription factor BMAL1 is an essential component of the mammalian circadian pacemaker. Bmal1-/- mice lose circadian rhythmicity but also display tendon calcification and decreased activity, body weight, and longevity. To investigate whether these diverse functions of BMAL1 are tissue-specific, we produced transgenic mice that constitutively express Bmal1 in brain or muscle and examined the effects of rescued gene expression in Bmal1-/- mice. Circadian rhythms of wheel-running activity were restored in brain-rescued Bmal1-/- mice in a conditional manner; however, activity levels and body weight were lower than those of wild-type mice. In contrast, muscle-rescued Bmal1-/- mice exhibited normal activity levels and body weight yet remained behaviorally arrhythmic. Thus, Bmal1 has distinct tissue-specific functions that regulate integrative physiology.
    Science 12/2006; 314(5803):1304-8. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We performed genome-wide mutagenesis of C57BL/6J mice using the mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) and screened the third generation (G3) offspring for visual system alterations using electroretinography and fundus photography. Several mice in one pedigree showed characteristics of retinal degeneration when tested at 12–14 weeks of age: no recordable electroretinogram (ERG), attenuation of retinal vessels, and speckled pigmentation of the fundus. Histological studies showed that the retinas undergo a photoreceptor degeneration with apoptotic loss of outer nuclear layer nuclei but visual acuity measured using the optomotor response under photopic conditions persists in spite of considerable photoreceptor loss. The Noerg-1 mutation showed an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance in progeny. Studies in early postnatal mice showed degeneration to occur after formation of partially functional rods. The Noerg-1 mutation was mapped genetically to chromosome 6 by crossing C57BL/6J mutants with DBA/2J or BALB/cJ mice to produce an N2 generation and then determining the ERG phenotypes and the genotypes of the N2 offspring at multiple loci using SSLP and SNP markers. Fine mapping was accomplished with a set of closely spaced markers. A nonrecombinant region from 112.8 Mb to 115.1 Mb was identified, encompassing the rhodopsin (Rho) coding region. A single nucleotide transition from G to A was found in the Rho gene that is predicted to result in a substitution of Tyr for Cys at position 110, in an intradiscal loop. This mutation has been found in patients with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and results in misfolding of rhodopsin expressed in vitro. Thus, ENU mutagenesis is capable of replicating mutations that occur in human patients and is useful for generating de novo models of human inherited eye disease. Furthermore, the availability of the mouse genomic sequence and extensive DNA polymorphisms made the rapid identification of this gene possible, demonstrating that the use of ENU-induced mutations for functional gene identification is now practical for individual laboratories.
    Visual Neuroscience 08/2005; 22(05):619 - 629. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The CLOCK transcription factor is a key component of the molecular circadian clock within pacemaker neurons of the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus. We found that homozygous Clock mutant mice have a greatly attenuated diurnal feeding rhythm, are hyperphagic and obese, and develop a metabolic syndrome of hyperleptinemia, hyperlipidemia, hepatic steatosis, hyperglycemia, and hypoinsulinemia. Expression of transcripts encoding selected hypothalamic peptides associated with energy balance was attenuated in the Clock mutant mice. These results suggest that the circadian clock gene network plays an important role in mammalian energy balance.
    Science 06/2005; 308(5724):1043-5. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Skeletal muscle remodeling is a critical component of an organism's response to environmental changes. Exercise causes structural changes in muscle and can induce phase shifts in circadian rhythms, fluctuations in physiology and behavior with a period of around 24 hours that are maintained by a core clock mechanism. Both exercise-induced remodeling and circadian rhythms rely on the transcriptional regulation of key genes. We used DNA microarrays to determine the effects of resistance exercise (RE) on gene regulation in biopsy samples of human quadriceps muscle obtained 6 and 18 hours after an acute bout of isotonic exercise with one leg. We also profiled diurnal gene regulation at the same time points (2000 and 0800 hours) in the non-exercised leg. Comparison of our results with published circadian gene profiles in mice identified 44 putative genes that were regulated in a circadian fashion. We then used quantitative PCR to validate the circadian expression of selected gene orthologs in mouse skeletal muscle. The coordinated regulation of the circadian clock genes Cry1, Per2, and Bmal1 6 hours after RE and diurnal genes 18 hours after RE in the exercised leg suggest that RE may directly modulate circadian rhythms in human skeletal muscle.
    Genome biology 02/2003; 4(10):R61. · 10.30 Impact Factor