Alteration of the phase and period of a circadian oscillator by a reversible transcription inhibitor

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Science  09 Aug 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5020, pp. 673-675
DOI: 10.1126/science.1871602


A function for transcription in the mechanism of a circadian oscillator was investigated with the reversible transcription inhibitor 5,6-dichloro-1-beta-D- ribobenzimidazole (DRB). Two-hour treatments with DRB shifted the phase of the circadian rhythm of the isolated eye of Aplysia, and continuous treatments of DRB lengthened the free running period of this rhythm. Camptothecin, an inhibitor of transcription that is structurally unrelated to DRB, had similar effects on the circadian rhythm. These results suggest that transcription may be part of the circadian oscillating mechanism.

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