LUX ARRHYTHMO encodes a nighttime repressor of circadian gene expression in the Arabidopsis core clock

Anne Helfer, Dmitri A. Nusinow, Brenda Y. Chow, Andrew R. Gehrke, Martha L. Bulyk, Steve A. Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

208 Scopus citations


Circadian clocks provide an adaptive advantage by allowing organisms to anticipate daily and seasonal environmental changes [1, 2]. Eukaryotic oscillators rely on complex hierarchical networks composed of transcriptional and posttranslational regulatory circuits [3]. In Arabidopsis, current representations of the circadian clock consist of three or four interlocked transcriptional feedback loops [3, 4]. Although molecular components contributing to different domains of these circuits have been described, how the loops are connected at the molecular level is not fully understood. Genetic screens previously identified LUX ARRHYTHMO (LUX) [5], also known as PHYTOCLOCK1 (PCL1) [6], an evening-expressed putative transcription factor essential for circadian rhythmicity. We determined the in vitro DNA-binding specificity for LUX by using universal protein binding microarrays; we then demonstrated that LUX directly regulates the expression of PSEUDO RESPONSE REGULATOR9 (PRR9), a major component of the morning transcriptional feedback circuit, through association with the newly discovered DNA binding site. We also show that LUX binds to its own promoter, defining a new negative autoregulatory feedback loop within the core clock. These novel connections between the archetypal loops of the Arabidopsis clock represent a significant advance toward defining the molecular dynamics underlying the circadian network in plants and provide the first mechanistic insight into the molecular function of the previously orphan clock factor LUX.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 25 2011


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