DNA microarray analysis and functional profile of pituitary transcriptome under core-clock protein BMAL1 control.


  • Guillaumond F.
  • Becquet D.
  • Boyer B.
  • Bosler O.
  • Delaunay F.
  • Franc J. L.
  • François-Bellan A. M.


Although it is known to contain five cell types that synthesize and release hormones with a circadian pattern, the pituitary gland is poorly characterized as a circadian oscillator. By a differential microarray analysis, 252 genes were found to be differentially expressed in pituitaries from Bmal1(-/-) knockout versus wild-type mice. By integrative analyses of the data set with the Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery (DAVID) Bioinformatics Resources annotation analysis system, pituitary genes with altered expression in Bmal1(-/-) mice were dispatched among functional categories. Clusters of genes related to signaling and rhythmic processes as well as transcription regulators, in general, were found enriched in the data set, as were pathways such as circadian rhythm, transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling, valine, leucine, and isoleucine degradation, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) signaling pathways. Gene Ontology term overrepresentation analyses revealed significant enrichment for genes involved in 10 key biological processes. To determine whether genes with altered expression in Bmal1(-/-) mice were actually circadian genes, we further characterized in the mouse pituitary gland the daily pattern of some of these genes, including core-clock genes. Core-clock genes and genes selected from three identified overrepresented biological processes, namely, hormone metabolic process, regulation of transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter, and cell adhesion, displayed a rhythmic pattern. Given the enrichment in genes dedicated to cell adhesion and their daily changes in the pituitary, it is hypothesized that cell-cell interactions could be involved in the transmission of information between endocrine cells, allowing rhythmic hormone outputs to be controlled in a temporally precise manner.

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