Attenuation of the posttranslational oscillator via transcription- translation feedback enhances circadian-phase shifts in Synechococcus

Norimune Hosokawa, Hiroko Kushige, Hideo Iwasaki

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    Abstract

    Circadian rhythms are endogenous biological timing processes that are ubiquitous in organisms ranging from cyanobacteria to humans. In the photoautotrophic unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, under continuous light (LL) conditions, the transcription-translation feedback loop (TTFL) of KaiC generates a rhythmic change in the accumulation of KaiC relative to KaiA clock proteins (KaiC/KaiA ratio), which peak and trough at subjective dawn and dusk, respectively. However, the role of TTFL in the cyanobacterial circadian system remains unclear because it is not an essential requirement for the basic oscillation driven by the Kai-based posttranslational oscillator (PTO) and the transcriptional output mechanisms. Here, we show that TTFL is important for the circadian photic resetting property in Synechococcus. The robustness of PTO, which is exemplified by the amplitude of the KaiC phosphorylation cycle, changed depending on the KaiC/KaiA ratio, which was cyclic under LL. After cells were transferred from LL to the dark, the clock protein levels remained constant in the dark. When cells were transferred from LL to continuous dark at subjective dawn, the KaiC phosphorylation cycle was attenuated with a lower KaiC/KaiA ratio, a higher KaiC phosphorylation level, and a lower amplitude than that in cells transferred at subjective dusk. We also found that the greater the degree to which PTO was attenuated in continuous dark, the greater the phase shifts upon the subsequent light exposure. Based on these results, we propose that TTFL enhances resetting of the Kai-based PTO in Synechococcus.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14486-14491
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume110
    Issue number35
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 27

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    Synechococcus
    Phosphorylation
    Cyanobacteria
    Biological Phenomena
    Light
    Circadian Rhythm
    Proteins

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Circadian rhythms are endogenous biological timing processes that are ubiquitous in organisms ranging from cyanobacteria to humans. In the photoautotrophic unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, under continuous light (LL) conditions, the transcription-translation feedback loop (TTFL) of KaiC generates a rhythmic change in the accumulation of KaiC relative to KaiA clock proteins (KaiC/KaiA ratio), which peak and trough at subjective dawn and dusk, respectively. However, the role of TTFL in the cyanobacterial circadian system remains unclear because it is not an essential requirement for the basic oscillation driven by the Kai-based posttranslational oscillator (PTO) and the transcriptional output mechanisms. Here, we show that TTFL is important for the circadian photic resetting property in Synechococcus. The robustness of PTO, which is exemplified by the amplitude of the KaiC phosphorylation cycle, changed depending on the KaiC/KaiA ratio, which was cyclic under LL. After cells were transferred from LL to the dark, the clock protein levels remained constant in the dark. When cells were transferred from LL to continuous dark at subjective dawn, the KaiC phosphorylation cycle was attenuated with a lower KaiC/KaiA ratio, a higher KaiC phosphorylation level, and a lower amplitude than that in cells transferred at subjective dusk. We also found that the greater the degree to which PTO was attenuated in continuous dark, the greater the phase shifts upon the subsequent light exposure. Based on these results, we propose that TTFL enhances resetting of the Kai-based PTO in Synechococcus.",
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