Some thoughts on cyanobacterial circadian clocks

23 March 2006

Daniel Fisher
Department of Physics
Harvard University


Certain cyanobacteria have a remarkably accurate circadian clock which is also remarkably simple. Kondo's group have recently shown that the basic clock components --- three proteins plus ATP ---- can function as an oscillator in vitro (reference below). Yet in spite of several theoretical papers, it is not at all clear what the basic mechanism is. Some of the theoretical issues and possible candidate models will be discussed along with questions for future experiments.


M. Nakajima, K. Imai, H. Ito, T. Nishiwaki, Y. Murayama, H. Iwasaki, T. Oyama, T. Kondo, "Reconstitution of circadian oscillation of cyanobacterial KaiC phosphorylation in vitro", Science 308:414-5 2005. PubMed

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