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Plant Cell Physiol. 2012 Dec;53(12):2016-29. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcs148. Epub 2012 Nov 4.

Circadian clock regulates dynamic chromatin modifications associated with Arabidopsis CCA1/LHY and TOC1 transcriptional rhythms.

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065-6399, USA.


Circadian clocks enable organisms to adapt to a 24 h diurnal cycle and anticipate rhythmic changes in the environment. The Arabidopsis central oscillator contains three genes encoding core clock components. CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED 1 (CCA1)/LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL (LHY) and TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION 1 (TOC1) reciprocally repress genes encoding each other and are critical for the generation of circadian rhythms controlling many clock outputs. A precise regulation of transcriptional events is, therefore, essential for proper circadian function. Here, we investigated histone 3 (H3) tail modifications of CCA1, LHY and TOC1 under various conditions. We found specific association of only H3K4Me3 and H3K9/14Ac with the translational start site of these three genes. These H3 marks were enriched at circadian time points of their increased transcription at different photoperiods and under free-running conditions, suggesting circadian regulation of H3 modifications. Analysis of clock-compromised CCA1-overexpressing lines provided evidence that light/dark photoperiods signal the establishment of these chromatin changes which are gated by the clock.

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