A Posttranslational Chemical Circadian Oscillator in Cyanobacteria
To understand dynamic biological behaviors at the system level in the “post-genome” era, it is important to elucidate the complicated molecular network generating biological information in addition to classical analysis on a single gene—function relationship. Periodic temporal (rhythmic) and spatial (morphological) pattern formations are both typical examples of dynamic and complex phenomena widely observed in organisms from bacteria to plants and humans. To elucidate such spatiotemporal dynamics at the molecular systems level, integration of molecular genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, comprehensive genomic and post-genomic approaches, quantitative analyses, and mathematical considerations is necessary. In addition, synthetic biological approaches to reconstitute such phenomena in vitro and/or in vivo are also helpful to validate reality and find problems in the proposed molecules or models. For this type of analysis, we have analyzed cyanobacteria as one of the simplest organisms to exhibit circadian rhythms and regular pattern formations with cell differentiation. Here, I summarize a brief history and the current state of molecular, biochemical, and synthetic analysis on the cyanobacterial circadian clock and refer to some prospects on extensive researches on morphological development in filamentous cyanobacteria.
KeywordsCircadian Rhythm Circadian Clock Circadian Timing Clock Protein Synechococcus Elongatus
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