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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of the expression of serotonin N-acetyltransferase gene in Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica): I. Rhythmic pattern and effect of light.

Serotonin N-acetyltransferase [arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT); EC2.3.1.87] is the rate-limiting enzyme in melatonin synthesis, and its activity exhibits a diurnal rhythm similar to that of the melatonin content in the pineal gland and retina of Japanese quail. Studies were conducted to characterize the Japanese quail AANAT cDNA, and to evaluate the expression of AANAT mRNA in the pineal gland, the retina, and other peripheral tissues. The nucleic acid sequence of a 400 bp cDNA clone obtained by RT-PCR manifested 78 and 95% homology compared to the rat and chicken AANAT cDNA, respectively, while the deduced amino acid sequence homology was 82 and 99%, respectively. AANAT mRNA content in a single pineal gland or an aliquot of eye lysate was measured by a micro-lysate protection assay. The expression of AANAT mRNA in the pineal gland and the retina exhibited circadian rhythm with peak levels at night. AANAT mRNA was also detected in the testis, but did not display a rhythmic change over a 24 hr period. AANAT mRNA was not detected in other tissues studied. Darkness during the day did not increase the pineal AANAT mRNA levels. However, unexpected light-exposure for 2 hr just after lights-off blocked the increase in AANAT mRNA, and at midnight remarkably decreased AANAT mRNA by 50%.[1]


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