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This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the Fourth Annual MCBIOS Conference. Computational Frontiers in Biomedicine

Open Access Proceedings

Analysis of circadian pattern reveals tissue-specific alternative transcription in leptin signaling pathway

Andrey A Ptitsyn1* and Jeffrey M Gimble2

Author Affiliations

1 Experimental Obesity Laboratory, Louisiana State University Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA

2 Stem Cell Laboratory, Louisiana State University System, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Rd., Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA

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BMC Bioinformatics 2007, 8(Suppl 7):S15  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-S7-S15

Published: 1 November 2007



It has been previously reported that most mammalian genes display a circadian oscillation in their baseline expression. Consequently, the phase and amplitude of each component of a signal transduction cascade has downstream consequences.


Here, we report our analysis of alternative transcripts in the leptin signaling pathway which is responsible for the systemic regulation of macronutrient storage and energy balance. We focused on the circadian expression pattern of a critical component of the leptin signaling system, suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3). On an Affymetrix GeneChip 430A2 microarray, this gene is represented by three probe sets targeting different regions within the 3' end of the last exon. We demonstrate that in murine brown adipose tissue two downstream 3' probe sets experience circadian baseline oscillation in counter-phase to the upstream probe set. Such differences in expression patterns are a telltale sign of alternative splicing within the last exon of SOCS3. In contrast, all three probe sets oscillated in a common phase in murine liver and white adipose tissue. This suggests that the regulation of SOCS3 expression in brown fat is tissue specific. Another component of the signaling pathway, Janus kinase (JAK), is directly regulated by SOCS and has alternative transcript probe sets oscillating in counter-phase in a white adipose tissue specific manner.


We hypothesize that differential oscillation of alternative transcripts may provide a mechanism to maintain steady levels of expression in spite of circadian baseline variation.