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Dual roles of FBXL3 in the mammalian circadian feedback loops are important for period determination and robustness of the clock.


The mammalian circadian clock is composed of interlocking feedback loops. Cryptochrome is a central component in the core negative feedback loop, whereas Rev-Erbα, a member of the nuclear receptor family, is an essential component of the interlocking loop. To understand the roles of different clock genes, we conducted a genetic interaction screen by generating single- and double-mutant mice. We found that the deletion of Rev-erbα in F-box/leucine rich-repeat protein (Fbxl3)-deficient mice rescued its long-circadian period phenotype, and our results further revealed that FBXL3 regulates Rev-Erb/retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor-binding element (RRE)-mediated transcription by inactivating the Rev-Erbα:histone deacetylase 3 corepressor complex. By analyzing the Fbxl3 and Cryptochrome 1 double-mutant mice, we found that FBXL3 also regulates the amplitudes of E-box-driven gene expression. These two separate roles of FBXL3 in circadian feedback loops provide a mechanism that contributes to the period determination and robustness of the clock.

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