Elevated ATPase Activity of KaiC Applies a Circadian Checkpoint on Cell Division in Synechococcus elongatus

Guogang Dong, Qiong Yang, Qiang Wang, Yong Ick Kim, Thammajun L. Wood, Katherine W. Osteryoung, Alexander van Oudenaarden, Susan S. Golden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


A circadian clock coordinates physiology and behavior in diverse groups of living organisms. Another major cyclic cellular event, the cell cycle, is regulated by the circadian clock in the few cases where linkage of these cycles has been studied. In the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus, the circadian clock gates cell division by an unknown mechanism. Using timelapse microscopy, we confirm the gating of cell division in the wild-type and demonstrate the regulation of cytokinesis by key clock components. Specifically, a state of the oscillator protein KaiC that is associated with elevated ATPase activity closes the gate by acting through a known clock output pathway to inhibit FtsZ ring formation at the division site. An activity that stimulates KaiC phosphorylation independently of the KaiA protein was also uncovered. We propose a model that separates the functions of KaiC ATPase and phosphorylation in cell division gating and other circadian behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-539
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 19 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology




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