Circadian rhythm gene regulation in the housefly Musca domestica

Veryan Codd, David Dolezel, Jan Stehlik, Alberto Piccin, Karen J. Garner, Seth N. Racey, Kornelis R. Straatman, Edward J. Louis, Rodolfo Costa, Ivo Sauman, Charalambos P. Kyriacou*, Ezio Rosato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The circadian mechanism appears remarkably conserved between Drosophila and mammals, with basic underlying negative and positive feedback loops, cycling gene products, and temporally regulated nuclear transport involving a few key proteins. One of these negative regulators is PERIOD, which in Drosophila shows very similar temporal and spatial regulation to TIMELESS. Surprisingly, we observe that in the housefly, Musca domestica, PER does not cycle in Western blots of head extracts, in contrast to the TIM protein. Furthermore, immunocytochemical (ICC) localization using enzymatic staining procedures reveals that PER is not localized to the nucleus of any neurons within the brain at any circadian time, as recently observed for several nondipteran insects. However, with confocal analysis, immunofluorescence reveals a very different picture and provides an initial comparison of PER/TIM-containing cells in Musca and Drosophila, which shows some significant differences, but many similarities. Thus, even in closely related Diptera, there is considerable evolutionary flexibility in the number and spatial organization of clock cells and, indeed, in the expression patterns of clock products in these cells, although the underlying framework is similar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1551
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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