Section 13
Chapter 12,704

Transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of the circadian clock of cyanobacteria and Neurospora

Brunner, M.; Schafmeier, T.

Genes and Development 20(9): 1061-1074


ISSN/ISBN: 0890-9369
PMID: 16651653
DOI: 10.1101/gad.1410406
Accession: 012703039

Circadian clocks are self-sustained oscillators modulating rhythmic transcription of large numbers of genes. Clock-controlled gene expression manifests in circadian rhythmicity of many physiological and behavioral functions. In eukaryotes, expression of core clock components is organized in a network of interconnected positive and negative feedback loops. This network is thought to constitute the pacemaker that generates circadian rhythmicity. The network of interconnected loops is embedded in a supra-net via a large number of interacting factors that affect expression and function of core clock components on transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. In particular, phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of clock components are critical processes ensuring robust self-sustained circadian rhythmicity and entrainment of clocks to external cues. In cyanobacteria, three clock proteins have the capacity to generate a self-sustained circadian rhythm of autophosphorylation and dephosphorylation independent of transcription and translation. This phosphorylation rhythm regulates the function of these clock components, which then facilitate rhythmic gene transcription, including negative feedback on their own genes. In this article, we briefly present the mechanism of clock function in cyanobacteria. We then discuss in detail the contribution of transcriptional feedback and protein phosphorylation to various functional aspects of the circadian clock of Neurospora crassa.

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