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Trends Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;18(6):273-81. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.03.005. Epub 2008 May 9.

Circadian clock function in Arabidopsis thaliana: time beyond transcription.

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  • Consorcio Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (CSIC-IRTA), Laboratorio de Genética Molecular Vegetal, Instituto de Biología Molecular de Barcelona, Spain. pmmgmc@ibmb.csic.es


The past decade has seen a remarkable advance in our understanding of the plant circadian system, mostly in Arabidopsis thaliana. It is now well established that Arabidopsis clock genes and their protein products operate through autoregulatory feedback loops that promote rhythmic oscillations in cellular, metabolic and physiological activities. This article reviews recent studies that have provided evidence for new mechanisms of clock organization and function. These mechanisms include protein-protein interactions and the regulation of protein stability, which, together, directly connect light signalling to the Arabidopsis circadian system. Evidence of rhythmic changes in chromatin structure has also opened new and exciting ways for regulation of clock gene expression. All of these mechanisms ensure an appropriate synchronization with the environment, which is crucial for successful plant growth and development.

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