Molecular rhythms in the pineal gland

Xiaodong Li, Jimo Borjigin, Solomon H. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Recent findings have clarified the mechanisms regulating the night- and pineal-specific transcription of serotonin N-acetyltransferase, the rate-limiting enzyme in melatonin formation. Norepinephrine acting via β-adrenoceptors and cAMP at night, stimulates the cAMP response element binding protein, which turns on the transcription of N-acetyltransferase and inducible cAMP early repressor, the major inhibitor of N-acetyltransferase transcription. The tissue-specific gene expression within the pineal gland and retina derives, in part, from a pineal/retina-specific transcription factor, cone-rod homeobox protein, which binds to a pineal regulatory element. This regulatory element is present in promoters of pineal-selective enzymes, such as N-acetyltransferase, hydroxyindole-O-methyl transferase, and pineal night-specific ATPase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-651
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular rhythms in the pineal gland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this