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Feedback Regulation of Transcriptional Termination by the Mammalian Circadian Clock PERIOD Complex

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Science  05 Jul 2012:
1221592
DOI: 10.1126/science.1221592

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Abstract

Eukaryotic circadian clocks are built on transcriptional feedback loops. In mammals, the PERIOD (PER) and CRYPTOCHROME (CRY) proteins accumulate, form a large nuclear complex (PER complex), and repress their own transcription. We found that mouse PER complexes included RNA helicases DDX5 and DHX9, active RNA Polymerase II large subunit, Per and Cry pre-mRNAs, and SETX, a helicase that promotes transcriptional termination. During circadian negative feedback, RNA Polymerase II accumulated near termination sites on Per and Cry genes but not on control genes. Recruitment of PER complexes to the elongating polymerase at Per and Cry termination sites inhibited SETX action, impeding RNA Polymerase II release and thereby repressing transcriptional re-initiation. Circadian clock negative feedback thus includes direct control of transcriptional termination.

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