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Bioessays. 2000 Jan;22(1):10-5.

The circadian clock of cyanobacteria.

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Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya, Japan.


A circadian clock, with physiological characteristics similar to those of eukaryotes, functions in the photosynthetic prokaryote, cyanobacteria. The molecular mechanism of this clock has been efficiently dissected using a luciferase reporter gene that reports the status of the clock. A circadian clock gene cluster, kaiABC, has been cloned via rhythm mutants of cyanobacterium, Synechococcus, and many clock mutations mapped to the three kai genes. Although kai genes do not share any homology with clock genes so far identified in eukaryotes, analysis of their expression suggests that a negative feedback control of kaiC expression by KaiC generates the circadian oscillation and that KaiA functions as a positive factor to sustain this oscillation. BioEssays 22:10-15, 2000.

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