Monarch Cell Line

DpN1 is a monarch cell line (Palomares et al., 2003), originally derived from embryos, that has proven indispensable in exploring the monarch butterfly’s circadian clock mechanism, as discussed under Clockwork. In DpN1 cells under a light/dark cycle, clock gene mRNAs and proteins oscillate in a manner that parallels their behavior in the monarch brain. No other light-sensitive insect cell line has been described.

This close correlation makes the cell line a useful system in which to study the molecular and biochemical details of the monarch clock transcriptional feedback loop in light/dark (focusing on the role of CRY2), as well as its intracellular light input pathway (focusing on the role of CRY1).