Editors' ChoiceCircadian Biology

Multitasking around the clock

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Sci. Signal.  30 Jun 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 383, pp. ec179
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aac8727

Chronic disruption of our circadian rhythms—for example, through shift work—may increase the risk of metabolic disease. Zhang et al. found that a multitasking transcription factor called Rev-erb-α regulates expression of both clock and metabolic genes through distinct mechanisms. At clock genes, Rev-erb-α binds directly to a specific DNA sequence, displacing a competing transcription factor. At metabolic genes, Rev-erb-α interacts not with DNA but with other transcription factors that regulate metabolic gene expression in a tissue-specific manner.

Y. Zhang, B. Fang, M. J. Emmett, M. Damle, Z. Sun, D. Feng, S. M. Armour, J. R. Remsberg, J. Jager, R. E. Soccio, D. J. Steger, M. A. Lazar, Discrete functions of nuclear receptor Rev-erbα couple metabolism to the clock. Science 348, 1488–1492 (2015). [Abstract] [Full Text]