How Living Cells can be used as a Model System for Screening of Circadian Modulators?

Abstract

Circadian rhythms control all aspects of physiology and are associated with diseases including cancer through effects on the cardiovascular, renal, immune, endocrine, neuropsychiatric and metabolic systems. Many physiological processes cannot be harmonized when the intrinsic rhythm is aberrant and such dyssynchrony leads to many diseases. In addition, diseases with circadian rhythm disturbance are closely related to mental activities, eg. Schizophrenia, Senile dementia, Bipolar disorder and so on. Therefore, it is important for improving the quality of life in stress and disease to regulate the circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are generated by a cell-autonomous clock system that drives the rhythmic cascade of clock genes.After we elucidated the transcriptional mechanism of the non-redundant essential unique clock gene, Bmal1, we developed a circadian functional assay system that consists of luminescent reporter cells and the application of Bmal1 findings. Using this assay system we have analyzed traditional herbal plants and succeeded to find components as a circadian modulator from them. I would like to introduce our recent screening results and also touch briefly on its possible mechanism.

Yoshiaki Onishi

DAILAB, Biomedical Research Institute

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology (AIST)