Reciprocal Regulation of Brain and Muscle Arnt-Like Protein 1 and Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor α Defines a Novel Positive Feedback Loop in the Rodent Liver Circadian Clock

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Recent evidence has emerged that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα), which is largely involved in lipid metabolism, can play an important role in connecting circadian biology and metabolism. In the present study, we investigated the mechanisms by which PPARα influences the pacemakers acting in the central clock located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and in the peripheral oscillator of the liver. We demonstrate that PPARα plays a specific role in the peripheral circadian control because it is required to maintain the circadian rhythm of the master clock gene brain and muscle Arnt-like protein 1 (bmal1) in vivo. This regulation occurs via a direct binding of PPARα on a potential PPARα response element located in the bmal1 promoter. Reversely, BMAL1 is an upstream regulator of PPARα gene expression. We further demonstrate that fenofibrate induces circadian rhythm of clock gene expression in cell culture and up-regulates hepatic bmal1 in vivo. Together, these results provide evidence for an additional regulatory feedback loop involving BMAL1 and PPARα in peripheral clocks.

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