Despite a central circadian role in Drosophila for the transcriptional regulator Timeless (dTim), the relevance of mammalian Timeless (mTim) remains equivocal. Conditional knockdown of mTim protein expression in the rat suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) disrupted SCN neuronal activity rhythms, and altered levels of known core clock elements. Full-length mTim protein (mTim-fl) exhibited a 24-hour oscillation, whereas a truncated isoform (mTIM-s) was constitutivety expressed. mTIM-fl associated with the mammalian clock Period proteins (mPERs) in oscillating SCN cells. These data suggest that mTim is required for rhythmicity and is a functional homolog of dTim on the negative-feedback arm of the mammalian molecular clockwork.
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