David C. Klein

Learn More
A remarkably constant feature of vertebrate physiology is a daily rhythm of melatonin in the circulation, which serves as the hormonal signal of the daily light/dark cycle: melatonin levels are always elevated at night. The biochemical basis of this hormonal rhythm is one of the enzymes involved in melatonin synthesis in the pineal gland-the melatonin(More)
Mammalian pineal function appears to be controlled primarily through the release of noradrenaline from the terminals of nerves whose cell bodies lie in the superior cervical ganglia. This is the final segment of the following neural pathway: retina----retinohypothalamic projection----suprachiasmatic nuclei----paraventricular nuclei----intermediolateral cell(More)
Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase controls daily changes in melatonin production by the pineal gland and thereby plays a unique role in biological timing in vertebrates. Arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase is also expressed in the retina, where it may play other roles in addition to signaling, including neurotransmission and detoxification. Large changes in(More)
In vertebrates, the circadian rhythm in the activity of serotonin N-acetyltransferase [arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT); EC 2.3.1.87] drives the daily rhythm in circulating melatonin. We have discovered that expression of the AA-NAT gene in the rat pineal gland is essentially turned off during the day and turned on at night, resulting in a more(More)
The nocturnal increase in circulating melatonin in vertebrates is regulated by 10- to 100-fold increases in pineal serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AA-NAT) activity. Changes in the amount of AA-NAT protein were shown to parallel changes in AA-NAT activity. When neural stimulation was switched off by either light exposure or L-propranolol-induced(More)
The daily rhythm in melatonin levels is controlled by cAMP through actions on the penultimate enzyme in melatonin synthesis, arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT; serotonin N-acetyltransferase, EC ). Results presented here describe a regulatory/binding sequence in AANAT that encodes a cAMP-operated binding switch through which cAMP-regulated protein(More)
Circadian clocks are self-sustaining genetically based molecular machines that impose approximately 24h rhythmicity on physiology and behavior that synchronize these functions with the solar day-night cycle. Circadian clocks in the vertebrate retina optimize retinal function by driving rhythms in gene expression, photoreceptor outer segment membrane(More)
The molecular processes underlying neural transmission are central issues in neurobiology. Here we describe a novel mechanism through which noradrenaline (NA) activates its target cells, using the mammalian pineal organ as a model. In this neuroendocrine transducer, NA stimulates arylalkylamine N:-acetyltransferase (AANAT; EC 2.3.1. 87), the key enzyme(More)
Serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) controls the daily rhythm in melatonin synthesis. When isolated from tissue, AANAT copurifies with isoforms epsilon and zeta of 14-3-3. We have determined the structure of AANAT bound to 14-3-3zeta, an association that is phosphorylation dependent. AANAT is bound in the central channel of the 14-3-3zeta dimer, and is(More)
Serotonin N-acetyltransferase (arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, AANAT, EC 2.3.1.87) is the first enzyme in the conversion of serotonin to melatonin. Large changes in AANAT activity play an important role in the daily rhythms in melatonin production. Although a single AANAT gene has been found in mammals and the chicken, we have now identified two AANAT(More)