Transcriptional profiling of circadian patterns of mRNA expression in the chick retina

Michael J. Bailey, Phillip D. Beremand, Rick Hammer, Elizabeth Reidel, Terry L. Thomas, Vincent M. Cassone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Previous transcriptome analyses have identified candidate molecular components of the avian pineal clock, and herein we employ high density cDNA microarrays of pineal gland transcripts to determine oscillating transcripts in the chick retina under daily and constant darkness conditions. Subsequent comparative transcriptome analysis of the pineal and retinal oscillators distinguished several transcriptional similarities between the two as well as significant differences. Rhythmic retinal transcripts were classified according to functional categories including phototransductive elements, transcription/translation factors, carrier proteins, cell signaling molecules, and stress response genes. Candidate retinal clock transcripts were also organized relative to time of day mRNA abundance, revealing groups accumulating peak mRNA levels across the circadian day but primarily reaching peak values at subjective dawn or subjective dusk. Comparison of the chick retina transcriptome to the pineal transcriptome under constant conditions yields an interesting group of conserved genes. This group includes putative clock elements cry1 and per3 in addition to several previously unidentified and uninvestigated genes exhibiting profiles of mRNA abundance that varied markedly under daily and constant conditions. In contrast, many transcripts were differentially regulated, including those believed to be involved in both melatonin biosynthesis and circadian clock mechanisms. Our results indicate an intimate transcriptional relationship between the avian pineal and retina in addition to providing previously uncharacterized molecular elements that we hypothesize to be involved in circadian rhythm generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52247-52254
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 10 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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