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Molecular Mechanisms of Circadian Clock Function

A wide variety of biological processes exhibit a rhythmic pattern of activity with a period of 24 hours. The temporal coordination of these rhythms is regulated by a cellular endogenous mechanism known as circadian clock. From bacteria to humans, the presence of the circadian clock has provided a remarkable adaptive advantage throughout evolution. In plants, the temporal synchronization of physiology with the environment is essential for successful plant growth and development. The intimate connection between light signaling pathways and the circadian oscillator allows the anticipation of the environmental transitions and the measurement of day-length as an indicator of changing seasons.

Current research in our group focuses on identifying new components and mechanisms of circadian clock progression in Arabidopsis thaliana. We are interested in elucidating the regulatory networks and the functional modules underlying the circadian clock function. Our research also focuses on studies about chromatin remodeling and the molecular determinants responsible for modulating the circadian activity. We also study the role of post-transcriptional regulation at the core of the clock and the impact of circadian clock function on plant growth and development. We apply to our studies a combination of genetic, biochemical, cellular and molecular approaches to obtain a comprehensive view of the interactive networks underlying circadian clock progression in plants.

Selected Publications

Takahashi N, Hirata Y, Aihara K, Mas P.

A Hierarchical Multi-oscillator Network Orchestrates the Arabidopsis Circadian System.

Cell. 2015 Sep 24;163(1):148-59.


Pérez-García P, Ma Y, Yanovsky MJ, Mas P.

Time-dependent sequestration of RVE8 by LNK proteins shapes the diurnal oscillation of anthocyanin biosynthesis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Apr 21;112(16):5249-53.


Seo PJ, Mas P.

Multiple layers of posttranslational regulation refine circadian clock activity in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell. 2014 Jan;26(1):79-87


Rugnone ML, Faigón Soverna A, Sanchez SE, Schlaen RG, Hernando CE, Seymour DK, Mancini E, Chernomoretz A, Weigel D, Más P, Yanovsky MJ.

LNK genes integrate light and clock signaling networks at the core of the Arabidopsis oscillator

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 16;110(29):12120-5


Malapeira J, Khaitova LC, Mas P.

Ordered changes in histone modifications at the core of the Arabidopsis circadian clock

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Dec 26;109(52):21540-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1217022110


Huang W, Pérez-García P, Pokhilko A, Millar AJ, Antoshechkin I, Riechmann JL, Mas P.

Mapping the core of the Arabidopsis circadian clock defines the network structure of the oscillator

Science. 2012 Apr 6;336(6077):75-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1219075


Portolés S, Mas P.

The functional interplay between protein kinase CK2 and CCA1 transcriptional activity is essential for clock temperature compensation in Arabidopsis

PLoS Genet. 2010 Nov 4;6(11):e1001201. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001201


Sanchez SE, Petrillo E, Beckwith EJ, Zhang X, Rugnone ML, Hernando CE, Cuevas JC, Godoy Herz MA, Depetris-Chauvin A, Simpson CG, Brown JW, Cerdán PD, Borevitz JO, Mas P, Ceriani MF, Kornblihtt AR, Yanovsky MJ.

A methyl transferase links the circadian clock to the regulation of alternative splicing

Nature. 2010 Nov 4;468(7320):112-6. doi: 10.1038/nature09470


Legnaioli T, Cuevas J, Mas P.

TOC1 functions as a molecular switch connecting the circadian clock with plant responses to drought

EMBO J. 2009 Dec 2;28(23):3745-57. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2009.297