Role of circadian activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase in chick pineal clock oscillation

Kamon Sanada, Yuichiro Hayashi, Yuko Harada, Toshiyuki Okano, Yoshitaka Fukada*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


A circadian pacemaker generates a rhythm with a period of ~24 hr even in the absence of environmental time cues. Several photosensitive neuronal tissues such as the retina and pineal gland contain the autonomous circadian pacemaker together with the photic-input pathway responsible for entrainment of the pacemaker to the daily light/dark cycle. We show here that, in constant darkness, chick pineal mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) exhibited an in vivo circadian rhythm in tyrosine phosphorylation and in enzymatic activity with a peak during subjective night. Phosphorylated and hence activated MAPK was rapidly dephosphorylated after light illumination during the nighttime when light induces a phase-shift of the pacemaker. The circadian rhythmicity in MAPK phosphorylation was also observed in the cultured pineal gland, and importantly, MAPK kinase inhibitor treatment during subjective night not only shifted the time-of-peak of MAPK phosphorylation but also induced a remarkable phase-delay of the circadian pacemaker. These results indicate an important role of MAPK for time keeping in circadian clock systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)986-991
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Chick
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Mitogen-activated protein kinase
  • Pineal gland
  • Tyrosine phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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