Genome-Wide Regulation of the Circadian Clock

The mammalian circadian clock involves a transcriptional feed back loop in which CLOCK and BMAL1 activate the Period and Cryptochrome genes, which then feedback and repress their own transcription.

We have interrogated the transcriptional architecture of the circadian transcriptional regulatory loop on a genome scale in mouse liver and find a stereotyped, time-dependent pattern of transcription factor binding, RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) recruitment, RNA expression, and chromatin states. We find that the circadian transcriptional cycle of the clock consists of three distinct phases: a poised state, a coordinated de novo transcriptional activation state, and a repressed state.