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Mol Microbiol. 2006 May;60(3):658-68.

The pseudo-receiver domain of CikA regulates the cyanobacterial circadian input pathway.

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Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.


CikA (circadian input kinase) is a component of the cyanobacterial circadian clock that aids in synchronizing the endogenous oscillator with the external environment. cikA mutants of the prokaryotic circadian model organism Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 fail to reset the phase of the circadian rhythm of gene expression after an environmental time cue, and also exhibit reduced amplitude and shortened period of circadian oscillation. CikA has histidine protein kinase (HPK) activity that is modulated in vitro by GAF and pseudo-receiver (PsR) domains. Here we show that the PsR domain negatively regulates HPK activity in vivo and also serves as an interaction module to dock CikA at a specific subcellular location. Phenotypes conferred by alleles that encode CikA variants showed that all domains except the featureless N-terminus are required for CikA function. Overexpression of all alleles that encode the PsR domain, whether or not the HPK is functional, caused a dominant arrhythmic phenotype, whereas overexpressed variants that lack PsR did not. Subcellular localization of intact CikA identified a polar focus whereas a variant without PsR showed uniform distribution in the cell, consistent with a model in which PsR mediates interaction with other input pathway components.

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