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A Comprehensive Approach to Research and Innovation

The Journal of Biological Chemistry

Swan, Jeffrey; Golden, Susan; LiWang, Andy; Partch, Carrie

Circadian rhythms enable cells and organisms to coordinate their physiology with the cyclic environmental changes that come as a result of Earth's light/dark cycles. Cyanobacteria make use of a post-translational oscillator to maintain circadian rhythms, and this elegant system has become an important model for circadian timekeeping mechanisms. Composed of three proteins, the KaiABC system undergoes an oscillatory biochemical cycle that provides timing cues to achieve a 24-h molecular clock. Together with the input/output proteins SasA, CikA, and RpaA, these six gene products account for the timekeeping, entrainment, and output signaling functions in cyanobacterial circadian rhythms. This Minireview summarizes the current structural, functional and mechanistic insights into the cyanobacterial circadian clock. 

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