Light- and clock-control of genes involved in detoxification



Carmona-Antoñanzas G, Santi M, Migaud H & Vera L (2017) Light- and clock-control of genes involved in detoxification. Chronobiology International, 34 (8), pp. 1026-1041.

Circadian regulation of hepatic detoxification seems to be amongst the key roles of the biological clock. The liver is the major site for biotransformation, and in mammals, it contains several clock-controlled transcription factors such as PAR basic leucine zipper proteins (bZIP) and basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-PAS family that act as circadian regulators of detoxification genes. This investigation explored the existence of daily and circadian expression of transcription factors involved in detoxification, as well as the temporal profile of a set of their target genes in zebrafish liver. In our study, zebrafish were able to synchronize to a light-dark (LD) cycle and displayed a diurnal pattern of activity. In addition, the expression of clock genes presented daily and circadian rhythmicity in liver. Apart from hlfa, the expression of PAR bZIP transcription factors also displayed daily rhythms, which appeared to be both light-dependent and clock-controlled, as circadian rhythms free-ran under constant conditions (continuous darkness, DD). Under LD, tefb, dbpa and dbpb expression peaked at the end of the darkness period whereas tefa showed peak levels of expression at the onset of the photophase. In addition, these four genes exhibited circadian expression under DD, with higher expression levels at the end of the subjective night. The expression of the bHLH-PAS transcription factor arh2 also showed circadian rhythmicity in zebrafish liver, peaking in the middle of the subjective night and approximately 3-4 hours before peak expression of the PAR bZIP genes. Regarding the detoxification genes, the major target gene of AhR, cyp1a, showed daily and circadian expression with an acrophase 2 hours after ahr2. Under LD, abcb4 also showed daily rhythmicity, with an acrophase 1-2 h after that of PAR bZIP factors during the transition between darkness and light phases, when zebrafish become active. However, the expression of six detoxification genes showed circadian rhythmicity under DD, including cyp1a and abcb4 as well as gstr1, mgst3a, abcg2 and sult2_st2. In all cases, the acrophases of these 3 genes were found during the second half of the subjective night, in phase with the PAR bZIP transcription factors. This suggested that their expression is clock-controlled, either directly by core clock genes or through transcription factors. This study presents new data demonstrating that the process of detoxification is under circadian control in fish. Results showed that time of day should be considered when designing toxicological studies or administering drugs to fish.

Zebrafish, liver; circadian; PAR bZIP; bHLH-PAS; detoxification genes

Chronobiology International: Volume 34, Issue 8

Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online15/06/2017
Date accepted by journal25/05/2017
PublisherTaylor and Francis

People (1)


Professor Herve Migaud
Professor Herve Migaud

Honorary Professor, Institute of Aquaculture