Daily rhythms in the biochemical or metabolic activity of cells have long been known across all biological kingdoms. They are governed by the oscillating activity of clock genes, the impairment of which has been shown in mice to be related lifestyle diseases such as obesity. In plants, production of plant biomass is likely to be linked with clock genes.
Recent studies in the genetic model plant Arabidopsis have revealed three key genes involved in the timing mechanism—CCA1, LHY and TOC1. These genes form the centerpiece of several interlocked feedback loops which establish and adjust the daily oscillation pattern.
Kazuki Saito and colleagues from the RIKEN Plant Science Center in Yokohama and Nagoya University studied the molecular impact of mutations in these key clock genes. They analyzed not only the direct changes in the nucleic acid and protein products generated by mutant genes, but they also looked at the differences in the downstream metabolic products formed. Details of their work were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (1).
TOC1 is one of five related proteins known as the pseudo-response regulator (PRR) family. Previous work has shown them to be important components in adjusting the circadian system to changes in temperature and light. The researchers focused on a triple mutant of PRR9, 7 and 5 which leads to inability to establish a circadian rhythm under constant light. In previous work the research group demonstrated a strong link between this mutant and stress response in plants.
The triple mutant leads to late-flowering plants with dark green leaves. They are similar in appearance to those generated when the CCA1 gene becomes overactive. But the researchers found the metabolic details of two plant forms to be utterly different. In particular, they were surprised to find that the triple mutant led to a build-up of three key intermediate compounds of the tri-carboxylic acid pathway, the standard energy release process which takes place in the mitochondria of all higher organisms. The impact of the mutant PRR clock genes on the mitochondria was direct and unequivocal.
“We now want to determine the molecular components involved in this link between the clock genes and metabolism,” says Saito.
Fukushima, A., Kusano, M., Nakamichi, N., Kobayashi, M., Hayashi, N., Sakakibara, H., Mizuno, T. & Saito, K. Impact of clock-associated Arabidopsis pseudo-response regulators in metabolic coordination. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106, 7251–7256 (2009).
The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN Metabolomics Research Group
North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich
Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences