Molecular genetics of circadian rhythms


Research center

Bâtiment 145, Centre d'études de Saclay
91191 Gif sur Yvette
Philippe Vernier


Université Paris Sud
Université Paris Saclay


Département Molécules & Circuits
Idex NeuroSaclay

Mots clefs

circadian clock
drosophilia brain


Saint-Charles A, Michard-Vanhée C, Alejevski F, Chélot E, Boivin A, Rouyer F. Four of the six Drosophila rhodopsin-expressing photoreceptors can mediate circadian entrainment in low light. J Comp Neurol. 2016 Oct 1;524(14):2828-44. doi: 10.1002/cne.23994. Epub 2016 Mar 28.

Szabo, A., Papin, C., Zorn, D., Ponien, P., Weber, F., Raabe, T., and Rouyer, F. (2013). The CK2 kinase stabilizes CLOCK and represses its activity in the Drosophila circadian oscillator. PLoS Biol 11, e1001645.

Vieira, J., Jones, A. R., Danon, A., Sakuma, M., Hoang, N., Robles, D., Tait, S., Heyes, D. J., Picot, M., Yoshii, T., Helfrich-Forster, C., Soubigou, G., Coppee, J. Y., Klarsfeld, A., Rouyer, F., Scrutton, N. S., and Ahmad, M. (2012). Human cryptochrome-1 confers light independent biological activity in transgenic Drosophila correlated with flavin radical stability. PLoS One 7, e31867.

Grima, B., Dognon, A., Lamouroux, A., Chelot, E., and Rouyer, F. (2012). CULLIN-3 Controls TIMELESS Oscillations in the Drosophila Circadian Clock. PLoS Biol 10, e1001367.

Lamaze, A., Lamouroux, A., Vias, C., Hung, H. C., Weber, F., and Rouyer, F. (2011). The E3 ubiquitin ligase CTRIP controls CLOCK levels and PERIOD oscillations in Drosophila. EMBO Rep 12, 549-557.

Klarsfeld, A., Picot, M., Vias, C., Chelot, E., and Rouyer, F. (2011). Identifying specific light inputs for each subgroup of brain clock neurons in Drosophila larvae. J Neurosci 31, 17406-17415.

Fields of research

Neurogenetics / neurodevelopment

Research Theme

Our group works on the circadian clock that controls the rest-activity rhythms in the drosophila brain. We have three main research lines:- Neuronal bases of the brain clock: role of the different neuronal oscillators and organization of the network, light and temperature synchronization pathways (inputs), transmission of the circadian information in the brain (outputs)- Differentiation of the clock neurons and building of the circadian function during brain development- Molecular bases of the circadian oscillator: post-translational control of clock proteins (phosphorylation, ubiquitination, degradation) and search for new clock components through genetical and molecular approaches.

Lab rotation

Synchronization of sleep-wake rhythms by the visual system in Drosophila

Chercheur responsable: 

ROUYER François


18 September 2017 - 29 June 2018

Date limite de candidature: 

29 June 2018


~ Sept-Dec 2017

~ Jan-March 2018

~ April-June 2018


Brain circadian clocks control sleep-wake cycles. In Drosophila, the brain clock relies on a network of about 150 neurons that show oscillations of clock gene expression. Different subsets of clock neurons contribute to specific behavioral components and use sensory inputs such as light and temperature to synchronize with day-night cycles. The clock perceive light through either the intrinsic photoreceptive molecule cryptochrome or six rhodopsins that are distributed in three photoreceptive structures: compound eye, Hofbauer-Buchner eyelet, and ocelli. One major goal of the lab is to identify and define the properties of the neuronal circuits that connect photoreceptors to the clock network. Histamine is the neurotransmitter of insect photoreceptors and our results show that each of the two histamine-gated chloride channels (ORT and HISCL1) is used by first-order interneurons, as well as cells recently identified in the lab, to collect light information from the photoreceptors. The project will aim at characterizing the specific function of each of the two histamine receptors in the different circuits that bring light information to the different groups of clock neurons. Drosophila neurogenetic tools will be used to study combinations of specific rhodopsins, histamine receptors and clock neurons in order to understand how specific light input circuits allows the adaptation of the sleep-wake behavior to the daily changes of the environment. Anatomical (characterization of interneurons and their associations with upstream photoreceptors and downstream clock neurons) as well as functional (connectivity assays based on calcium imaging in the neurons) analyses will be performed to probe the relevant circuits.


Institut des Neurosciences Paris-Saclay (Neuro-PSI) - Bât. 32/33, 1 Av. de la Terrasse, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette -


ROUYER François