Extracellular electron transfer mediated by a cytocompatible redox polymer to study the crosstalk among the mammalian circadian clock, cellular metabolism, and cellular redox state†
The circadian clock is an endogenous biological timekeeping system that controls various physiological and cellular processes with a 24 h rhythm. The crosstalk among the circadian clock, cellular metabolism, and cellular redox state has attracted much attention. To elucidate this crosstalk, chemical compounds have been used to perturb cellular metabolism and the redox state. However, an electron mediator that facilitates extracellular electron transfer (EET) has not been used to study the mammalian circadian clock due to potential cytotoxic effects of the mediator. Here, we report evidence that a cytocompatible redox polymer pMFc (2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine-co-vinyl ferrocene) can be used as the mediator to study the mammalian circadian clock. EET mediated by oxidized pMFc (ox-pMFc) extracted intracellular electrons from human U2OS cells, resulting in a longer circadian period. Analyses of the metabolome and intracellular redox species imply that ox-pMFc receives an electron from glutathione, thereby inducing pentose phosphate pathway activation. These results suggest novel crosstalk among the circadian clock, metabolism, and redox state. We anticipate that EET mediated by a redox cytocompatible polymer will provide new insights into the mammalian circadian clock system, which may lead to the development of new treatments for circadian clock disorders.