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

Altered calmodulin response to light in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of PAC1 receptor knockout mice revealed by proteomic analysis.

In mammals circadian rhythms are generated by a light-entrainable oscillator located in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Light signals reach the SCN via a monosynaptic neuronal pathway, the retinohypothalamic tract, originating in a subset of retinal ganglion cells. The nerve terminals of these cells contain the classical neurotransmitter glutamate and the neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), and there is evidence that these two transmitters interact to mediate photoentrainment of the oscillator in the SCN. To elucidate light-provoked PACAP receptor signaling we used proteomic analysis. Wild-type mice and mice lacking the PAC1 receptor (PAC1-/-) were light stimulated at early night, and the SCN was examined for proteins that were differentially expressed using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and identification by tandem mass spectrometry. The most striking finding, which was subsequently confirmed by Western blotting, was a significant reduction of calmodulin ( CaM) in wild-type mice as compared with PAC1-/- mice. Analysis at the mRNA level by quantitative in situ hybridization histochemistry was inconclusive, indicating that a translational mechanism might be involved. The findings indicate that PAC1 receptor signaling in the SCN in response to light stimulation induces a down-regulation of CaM expression and that CaM is involved in the photic-entrainment mechanism.[1]


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