The circadian clock contributes to the regulation of hormone secretion, metabolism and behaviour. Little is known, however, on the function of clock network components such as clock neurons and clock genes in the daily timing of metabolism. In this project, metabolomic approaches will be employed to discover neurotransmitters, hormones and metabolic pathways that are regulated by the clock network in Drosophila melanogaster. Wild type flies and mutants defective in clock genes will be studied on the metabolome level at temporal resolution with highly sophisticated analytic techniques. For this purpose untargeted approaches including fingerprinting and metabolite profiling as well as targeted metabolite quantification will be applied. The analysis will be complemented by molecular and physiological studies in close co-operation with other SFB projects.
The central aim of the project is to link clock gene functional outputs to metabolism and physiology. After identification of clock-regulated metabolic pathways, the regulation of metabolic enzymes will be confirmed on the transcript level. In addition, we will develop and perform chemical analysis of small molecules like hormones, neurotransmitters and primary metabolites required to fulfill the proposal of other projects within SFB.