The cyanobacterial clock and metabolism

Cyanobacteria possess the simplest known circadian clock, which presents a unique opportunity to study how rhythms are generated and how input signals from the environment reset the clock time. The kaiABC locus forms the core of the oscillator, and the remarkable ability to reconstitute oscillations using purified KaiABC proteins has allowed researchers to study mechanism using the tools of quantitative biochemistry. Autotrophic cyanobacteria experience major shifts in metabolism following a light–dark transition, and recent work suggests that input mechanisms that couple the day–night cycle to the clock involve energy and redox metabolites acting directly on clock proteins. We offer a summary of the current state of knowledge in this system and present a perspective for future lines of investigation.

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PMID: 24667330