Dr. Ruifeng Cao

DMED Biomedical Sciences
Medical School
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Molecular Mechanisms of the Circadian Clock

The objective of this research is to delineate molecular mechanisms whereby the circadian clock in the liver is regulated by S6Ks. Previous studies have indicated that the mTORC1 signaling pathway regulates the robustness and phase of the liver circadian clock but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. S6Ks are important downstream targets of mTORC1. This project will take advantage of the group's S6K mutant mice and investigate the target genes that are regulated by s6Ks in the liver and three different brain regions. Mouse tissues will be collected every four hours over a 24-hour light/dark cycle from WT and S6K mutant mice. RNAs will be extracted and sent for mRNA-seq by Novogene. The gene expression levels and rhythmicity will be compared between WT and S6K mutant mice. The researchers expect to identify differentially expressed genes between WT and KO at different time points and also identify rhythmic genes in WT mice, KO mice, or both. Pathway analysis will also be performed to uncover rhythmic biological processes that are sensitive to S6K regulation.

Project Investigators

Dr. Ruifeng Cao
Ying Zhang
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