Rhythmic expressed clock regulates the transcription of proliferating cellular nuclear antigen in teleost retina

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Teleost fish continues to grow their eyes throughout life with the body size. In Astatotilapia burtoni, the fish retina increases by adding new retinal cells at the ciliary marginal zone (CMZ) and in the outer nuclear layer (ONL). Cell proliferation at both sites exhibits a daily rhythm in number of dividing cells. To understand how this diurnal rhythm of new cell production is controlled in retinal progenitor cells, we studied the transcription pattern of clock genes in retina, including clock1a, clock1b, bmal1a (brain and muscle ARNT-Like), and per1b (period1b). We found that these genes have a strong diurnal rhythmic transcription during light-dark cycles but not in constant darkness. An oscillation in pcna transcription was also observed during light-dark cycles, but again not in constant darkness. Our results also indicate an association between Clock proteins and the upstream region of pcna (proliferating cellular nuclear antigen) gene. A luciferase reporter assay conducted in an inducible clock knockdown cell line further demonstrated that the mutation on predicted E-Boxes in pcna promoter region significantly attenuated the transcriptional activation induced by Clock protein. These results suggested that the diurnal rhythmic expression of clock genes in A. burtoni retina could be light dependent and might contribute to the daily regulation of the proliferation of the retina progenitors through key components of cell cycle machinery, for instance, pcna.HighlightsThe diurnal rhythmic expression of both clock genes and pcna in retina are light dependent.The pcna promoter region could be the regulatory site for Clock protein.Clock may contribute to the rhythmic proliferation through pcna.This could be a novel rhythmic control mechanism of cell division in retina progenitor.

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