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Hiroko Nakai, Yoshiki Tsuchiya, Nobuya Koike, Taiki Asano, Morio Ueno, Yasuhiro Umemura, Yuh Sasawaki, Ryutaro Ono, Junji Hamuro, Chie Sotozono, Kazuhiro Yagita; Comprehensive Analysis Identified the Circadian Clock and Global Circadian Gene Expression in Human Corneal Endothelial Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2022;63(5):16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.63.5.16.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate circadian clock oscillation and circadian global gene expression in cultured human corneal endothelial cells (cHCECs) to elucidate and assess the potential function of circadian regulation in HCECs.
In this study, we introduced a circadian bioluminescence reporter, Bmal1:luciferase (Bmal1:luc), into cHCECs and subsequently monitored real-time bioluminescence rhythms. RNA-sequencing data analysis was then performed using sequential time-course samples of the cHCECs to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the circadian gene expression rhythms. The potential relevance of rhythmically expressed genes was then assessed by systematic approaches using functional clustering and individual gene annotations.
Bmal1:luc bioluminescence exhibited clear circadian oscillation in the cHCECs. The core clock genes and clock-related genes showed high-amplitude robust circadian messenger RNA (mRNA) expression rhythms in cHCECs after treatment with dexamethasone, and 329 genes that exhibited circadian mRNA expression rhythms were identified (i.e., genes involved in various physiological processes including glycolysis, mitochondrial function, antioxidative systems, hypoxic responses, apoptosis, and extracellular matrix regulation, which represent the physiological functions of HCECs).
Our findings revealed that cHCECs have a robust and functional circadian clock, and our discovery that a large number of genes exhibit circadian mRNA expression rhythms in cHCECs suggests a potential contribution of circadian regulation to fine-tune HCEC functions for daily changes in the environment.
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