Research Summary: Modeling Light Adaptation in Circadian Clock: Prediction of the Response That Stabilizes Entrainment

ABSTRACT

Periods of biological clocks are close to but often different from the rotation period of the earth. Thus, the clocks of organisms must be adjusted to synchronize with day-night cycles. The primary signal that adjusts the clocks is light. In Neurospora, light transiently up-regulates the expression of specific clock genes. This molecular response to light is called light adaptation. Does light adaptation occur in other organisms? Using published experimental data, we first estimated the time course of the up-regulation rate of gene expression by light. Intriguingly, the estimated up-regulation rate was transient during light period in mice as well as Neurospora. Next, we constructed a computational model to consider how light adaptation had an effect on the entrainment of circadian oscillation to 24-h light-dark cycles. We found that cellular oscillations are more likely to be destabilized without light adaption especially when light intensity is very high. From the present results, we predict that the instability of circadian oscillations under 24-h light-dark cycles can be experimentally observed if light adaptation is altered. We conclude that the functional consequence of light adaptation is to increase the adjustability to 24-h light-dark cycles and then adapt to fluctuating environments in nature.

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Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 16-June-2011

Author(s): Tsumoto K., Kurosawa G., Yoshinaga T., Aihara K.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0020880

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