Identification of a novel circadian clock modulator controlling BMAL1 expression through a ROR/REV-ERB-response element-dependent mechanism

Jiyeon Lee, Seungbeom Lee, Sooyoung Chung, Noheon Park, Gi Hoon Son, Hongchan An, Jaebong Jang, Dong Jo Chang, Young Ger Suh, Kyungjin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Circadian rhythms, biological oscillations with a period of about 24 h, are maintained by an innate genetically determined time-keeping system called the molecular circadian clockwork. Despite the physiological and clinical importance of the circadian clock, development of small molecule modulators targeting the core clock machinery has only recently been initiated. BMAL1, a core clock gene, is controlled by a ROR/REV-ERB-response element (RORE)-dependent mechanism, which plays an important role in stabilizing the period of the molecular circadian clock. Therefore, we aimed to identify a novel small molecule modulator that regulates Bmal1 gene expression in RORE-dependency, thereby influencing the molecular feedback loop of the circadian clock. For this purpose, we carried out a cell-based screen of more than 1000 drug-like compounds, using a luciferase reporter driven by the proximal region of the mouse Bmal1 promoter. One compound, designated KK-S6, repressed the RORE-dependent transcriptional activity of the mBmal1 promoter and reduced endogenous BMAL1 protein expression. More importantly, KK-S6 significantly altered the amplitude of circadian oscillations of Bmal1 and Per2 promoter activities in a dose-dependent manner, but barely affected the period length. KK-S6 effectively decreased mRNA expression of metabolic genes acting downstream of REV-ERBα, Pai-1 and Citrate synthase, that contain RORE cis-element in their promoter. KK-S6 likely acts in a RORE-dependent manner by reinforcing the REV-ERBα activity, though not by the same mechanism as known REV-ERB agonists. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that KK-S6 functions as a novel modulator of the amplitude of molecular circadian rhythms by influencing RORE-mediated BMAL1 expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-586
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.


  • Brain-muscle-ARNT-like protein 1
  • Circadian clock
  • Circadian rhythm
  • ROR/REV-ERB-response element
  • Rev-erbα
  • Small molecule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of a novel circadian clock modulator controlling BMAL1 expression through a ROR/REV-ERB-response element-dependent mechanism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this