bims-ciryme Biomed News
on Circadian rhythms and metabolism
Issue of 2020‒12‒06
four papers selected by
Gabriela Da Silva Xavier
University of Birmingham

  1. PLoS Genet. 2020 Nov 30. 16(11): e1009230
      Most organisms harbor circadian clocks as endogenous timing systems in order to adapt to daily environmental changes, such as exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. It has been hypothesized that the circadian clock evolved to prevent UV-sensitive activities, such as DNA replication and cell division, during the daytime. Indeed, circadian control of UV resistance has been reported in several eukaryotic organisms, from algae to higher organisms, although the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 exhibits a circadian rhythm in resistance to UV-C and UV-B light, which is higher during subjective dawn and lower during subjective dusk. Nullification of the clock gene cluster kaiABC or the DNA-photolyase phr abolished rhythmicity with constitutively lower resistance to UV-C light, and amino acid substitutions of KaiC altered the period lengths of the UV-C resistance rhythm. In order to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the circadian regulation of UV-C resistance, transposon insertion mutants that alter UV-C resistance were isolated. Mutations to the master circadian output mediator genes sasA and rpaA and the glycogen degradation enzyme gene glgP abolished circadian rhythms of UV-C resistance with constitutively high UV-C resistance. Combining these results with further experiments using ATP synthesis inhibitor and strains with modified metabolic pathways, we showed that UV-C resistance is weakened by directing more metabolic flux from the glycogen degradation to catabolic pathway such as oxidative pentose phosphate pathway and glycolysis. We suggest glycogen-related metabolism in the dark affects circadian control in UV sensitivity, while the light masks this effect through the photolyase function.
  2. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Nov 27. pii: S0006-291X(20)32110-0. [Epub ahead of print]
      The liver is the major organ maintaining metabolic homeostasis in animals during shifts between fed and fasted states. Circadian oscillations in peripheral tissues including the liver are connected with feeding-fasting cycles. We generated transgenic mice with hepatocyte specific E4BP4, D-box negative regulator, overexpression. Liver-specific E4BP4 overexpression was also achieved by adenoviral gene transfer. Interestingly, hepatic E4BP4 overexpression induced marked insulin resistance, that was rescued by DBP, a competing D-box positive regulator, overexpression. At basal conditions hepatocyte E4BP4 transgenic mice exhibited increased gluconeogenesis with reduced AKT phosphorylation in liver. In muscle, AKT phosphorylation was impaired after insulin stimulation. Such muscle insulin resistance was associated with elevated free fatty acid flux from the liver and reduced fatty acid utilization as an energy source during the inactive phase. E4BP4, one of the clock-controlled output genes, are key metabolic regulators in liver adjusting liver and muscle metabolism and insulin sensitivity in the feeding-fasting cycles. Its tuning is critical for preventing metabolic disorders.
    Keywords:  DBP; E4BP4; Fatty acid utilization; Feeding-fasting cycle; Insulin sensitivity; Liver clock
  3. Nat Commun. 2020 Dec 04. 11(1): 6215
      A distinct 12-hour clock exists in addition to the 24-hour circadian clock to coordinate metabolic and stress rhythms. Here, we show that liver-specific ablation of X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) disrupts the hepatic 12-hour clock and promotes spontaneous non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We show that hepatic XBP1 predominantly regulates the 12-hour rhythmicity of gene transcription in the mouse liver and demonstrate that perturbation of the 12-hour clock, but not the core circadian clock, is associated with the onset and progression of this NAFLD phenotype. Mechanistically, we provide evidence that the spliced form of XBP1 (XBP1s) binds to the hepatic 12-hour cistrome to directly regulate the 12-hour clock, with a periodicity paralleling the harmonic activation of the 12-hour oscillatory transcription of many rate-limiting metabolic genes known to have perturbations in human metabolic disease. Functionally, we show that Xbp1 ablation significantly reduces cellular membrane fluidity and impairs lipid homeostasis via rate-limiting metabolic processes in fatty acid monounsaturated and phospholipid remodeling pathways. These findings reveal that genetic disruption of the hepatic 12-hour clock links to the onset and progression of NAFLD development via transcriptional regulator XBP1, and demonstrate a role for XBP1 and the 12-hour clock in the modulation of phospholipid composition and the maintenance of lipid homeostasis.
  4. Curr Biol. 2020 Nov 20. pii: S0960-9822(20)31669-9. [Epub ahead of print]
      A delayed eating schedule is associated with increased risk of obesity and metabolic dysfunction in humans.1-9 However, there are no prolonged, highly controlled experimental studies testing the effects of meal timing on weight and metabolism in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 19-27 kg/m2.10-18 Twelve healthy adults (age: 26.3 ± 3.4 years; BMI: 21.9 ± 1.7 kg/m2; 5 females) participated in a randomized crossover study in free-living conditions. Three meals and two snacks with comparable energy and macronutrient contents were provided during two, 8-week, counterbalanced conditions separated by a 2-week washout period: (1) daytime (intake limited to 0800 h-1900 h) and (2) delayed (intake limited to 1200 h-2300 h). Sleep-wake cycles and exercise levels were held constant. Weight, adiposity, energy expenditure, and circadian profiles of hormones and metabolites were assessed during four inpatient visits occurring before and after each condition. Body weight, insulin resistance (homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance [HOMA-IR]), trunk-to-leg fat ratio, resting energy expenditure, respiratory quotient, and fasting glucose, insulin, total and high-density lipoprotein (dHDL) cholesterol, and adiponectin decreased on the daytime compared to the delayed schedule. These measures, as well as triglycerides, increased on the delayed compared to the daytime schedule (effect size range: d = 0.397-1.019). Circadian phase and amplitude of melatonin, cortisol, ghrelin, leptin, and glucose were not differentially altered by the eating schedules. Overall, an 8-week daytime eating schedule, compared to a delayed eating schedule, promotes weight loss and improvements in energy metabolism and insulin in adults with BMI 19-27 kg/m2, underscoring the efficacy and feasibility of daytime eating as a behavioral modification for real-world conditions.
    Keywords:  circadian rhythms; metabolism; nighttime eating; time restricted feeding; timed eating; weight