Role for protein kinase A in the Neurospora circadian clock by regulating white collar-independent frequency transcription through phosphorylation of RCM-1

Xiao Liu, Hongda Li, Qingqing Liu, Yanling Niu, Qiwen Hu, Haiteng Deng, Joonseok Cha, Ying Wang, Yi Liu, Qun He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Rhythmic activation and repression of clock gene expression is essential for the eukaryotic circadian clock functions. In the Neurospora circadian oscillator, the transcription of the frequency (frq) gene is periodically activated by the White Collar (WC) complex and suppressed by the FRQ-FRH complex. We previously showed that there is WC-independent frq transcription and its repression is required for circadian gene expression. How WC-independent frq transcription is regulated is not known. We show here that elevated protein kinase A (PKA) activity results in WC-independent frq transcription and the loss of clock function. We identified RCM-1 as the protein partner of RCO-1 and an essential component of the clock through its role in suppressing WCindependent frq transcription. RCM-1 is a phosphoprotein and is a substrate of PKA in vivo and in vitro. Mutation of the PKAdependent phosphorylation sites on RCM-1 results in WC-independent transcription of frq and impaired clock function. Furthermore, we showed that RCM-1 is associated with the chromatin at the frq locus, a process that is inhibited by PKA. Together, our results demonstrate that PKA regulates frq transcription by inhibiting RCM-1 activity through RCM-1 phosphorylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2088-2102
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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