The circadian clock controls daily rhythms in many physiologic processes, and the clock oscillation is regulated by external time cues such as light, temperature, and feeding. In mammals, the transcriptional regulation of clock genes underlies the clock oscillatory mechanism, which is operative even in cultured fibroblasts. We previously demonstrated that glucose treatment of rat-1 fibroblasts evokes circadian expression of clock genes with a rapid induction of Tieg1 transcript encoding a transcriptional repressor. Here, we found diurnal variation of both Tieg1 mRNA and nuclear TIEG1 protein levels in the mouse liver with their peaks at day/night transition and midnight, respectively. In vitro experiments showed that TIEG1 bound to Bmal1 gene promoter and repressed its transcriptional activity through two juxtaposed GC boxes near the transcription initiation site. The GC box/TIEG1-mediated repression of Bmal1 promoter was additive to RORE-dependent repression by REV-ERBα, a well-known repressor of Bmal1 gene. In cell-based real-time assay, siRNA-mediated knock-down of TIEG1 caused period shortening of cellular bioluminescence rhythms driven by Bmal1-luciferase and Per2-luciferase reporters. These findings highlight an active role of TIEG1 in the normal clock oscillation and GC box-mediated regulation of Bmal1 transcription.
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