Intricate Protein-Protein Interactions in the Cyanobacterial Circadian Clock [Enzymology]

June 16th, 2014 by Egli, M.

The cyanobacterial circadian clock consists of a post-translational oscillator (PTO) and a PTO-dependent transcription-translation feedback loop (TTFL). The PTO can be reconstituted in vitro with the KaiA, KaiB and KaiC proteins, enabling detailed biochemical and biophysical investigations. Both the CI and CII halves of the KaiC hexamer harbor ATPases, but only the C-terminal CII ring exhibits kinase and phospho-transferase activities. KaiA stimulates the kinase and KaiB associates with KaiC during the dephosphorylation phase and sequesters KaiA. Recent research has led to conflicting models of the KaiB:KaiC interaction, precluding a clear understanding of KaiB function and KaiABC clock mechanism.