Cell Mol Life Sci 2017 03 29;74(6):1035-1059. Epub 2016 Sep 29.
Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6, Canada.
Circadian timekeeping is a ubiquitous mechanism that enables organisms to maintain temporal coordination between internal biological processes and time of the local environment. The molecular basis of circadian rhythms lies in a set of transcription-translation feedback loops (TTFLs) that drives the rhythmic transcription of core clock genes, whose level and phase of expression serve as the marker of circadian time. However, it has become increasingly evident that additional regulatory mechanisms impinge upon the TTFLs to govern the properties and behavior of the circadian clock. Such mechanisms include changes in chromatin architecture, interactions with other transcription factor networks, post-transcriptional control by RNA modifications, alternative splicing and microRNAs, and post-translational regulation of subcellular trafficking and protein degradation. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of circadian clock regulation-from transcriptional to post-translational-drawing from literature pertaining to the Drosophila and murine circadian systems.