Photic entrainment is an essential property of the circadian clock that sets the appropriate timing of daily behavioral and physiological events. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the entrainment remain largely unknown. In the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus, the immediate early gene c-fosB plays an important role in photic entrainment, followed by a mechanism involving cryptochromes (crys). However, the association between c-fosB expression and crys remains unclear. In the present study, using RNA-sequencing analysis, we found that five Fbxl family genes (Fbxl4, Fbxl5, Fbxl16, Fbxl-like1, and Fbxl-like2) encoding F-box and leucine-rich repeat proteins are likely involved in the mechanism following light-dependent c-fosB induction. RNA interference (RNAi) of c-fosA/B significantly downregulated Fbxls expression, whereas RNAi of the Fbxl genes exerted no effect on c-fosB expression. The Fbxl genes showed rhythmic expression under light-dark cycles (LDs) with higher expression levels in early day (Fbxl16), whole day (Fbxl-like1), or day-to-early night (Fbxl4, Fbxl5, and Fbxl-like2), whereas their expression was reduced in the dark. We then examined the effect of their RNAi on the photic entrainment of the locomotor rhythm and found that RNAi of Fbxl4 either disrupted or significantly delayed the re-entrainment of the locomotor rhythm to shifted LDs. These results suggest that light-induced c-fosB expression stimulates Fbxl4 expression to reset the circadian clock.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1