The axon-guidance roundabout gene alters the pace of the Drosophila circadian clock

Authors

  • Jimena Berni,

    1. Laboratorio de Genética del Comportamiento, Fundación Instituto Leloir, Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas-Buenos Aires (IIBBA, CONICET), Av. Patricias Argentinas 435, Buenos Aires 1405, Argentina
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  • Esteban J. Beckwith,

    1. Laboratorio de Genética del Comportamiento, Fundación Instituto Leloir, Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas-Buenos Aires (IIBBA, CONICET), Av. Patricias Argentinas 435, Buenos Aires 1405, Argentina
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  • María Paz Fernández,

    1. Laboratorio de Genética del Comportamiento, Fundación Instituto Leloir, Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas-Buenos Aires (IIBBA, CONICET), Av. Patricias Argentinas 435, Buenos Aires 1405, Argentina
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  • María Fernanda Ceriani

    1. Laboratorio de Genética del Comportamiento, Fundación Instituto Leloir, Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquímicas-Buenos Aires (IIBBA, CONICET), Av. Patricias Argentinas 435, Buenos Aires 1405, Argentina
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Dr María Fernanda Ceriani, as above.
E-mail: fceriani@leloir.org.ar

Abstract

Great efforts have been directed to the dissection of the cell-autonomous circadian oscillator in Drosophila. However, less information is available regarding how this oscillator controls rhythmic rest–activity cycles. We have identified a viable allele of roundabout, robohy, where the period of locomotor activity is shortened. From its role in axon-pathfinding, we anticipated developmental defects in clock-relevant structures. However, robohy produced minor defects in the architecture of the circuits essential for rhythmic behaviour. ROBO's presence within the circadian circuit strengthened the possibility of a novel role for ROBO at this postdevelopmental stage. Genetic interactions between pdf01 and robohy suggest that ROBO could alter the communication within different clusters of the circadian network, thus impinging on two basic properties, periodicity and/or rhythmicity. Early translocation of PERIOD to the nucleus in robohy pacemaker cells indicated that shortened activity rhythms were derived from alterations in the molecular oscillator. Herein we present a mutation affecting clock function associated with a molecule involved in circuit assembly and maintenance.

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