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Physiology of sleep and dreaming - page 14 / 26

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The Per-Cry-Tau complex

In mammals, two SCN  proteins (Clock and Cycle) form a dimer.

The Clock/Cycle dimer acts on DNA to enhance transcription of Period (Per) and Cryptochrome (Cry).

Per and Cry bind in a complex with Tau

The Per-Cry-Tau complex inhibits the Clock/Cycle dimer, slowing Per-Cry production

Per-Cry breakdown over 24 hours allows a new cycle to start.

Melanopsin-containing ganglion cells release glutamate in the SCN, increasing per transcription and entraining the SCN.

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