Phosphorylation modulates rapid nucleocytoplasmic shuttling and cytoplasmic accumulation of Neurospora clock protein FRQ on a circadian time scale
Authors: Diernfellner AC, Querfurth C, Salazar C, Höfer T, Brunner M
CellNetworks People: Höfer Thomas, Brunner Michael
Journal: Genes Dev. 2009 Sep 15;23(18):2192-200. doi: 10.1101/gad.538209

The Neurospora clock protein FREQUENCY (FRQ) is an essential regulator of the circadian transcription factor WHITE COLLAR COMPLEX (WCC). In the course of a circadian period, the subcellular distribution of FRQ shifts from mainly nuclear to mainly cytosolic. This shift is crucial for coordinating the negative and positive limbs of the clock. We show that the subcellular redistribution of FRQ on a circadian time scale is governed by rapid, noncircadian cycles of nuclear import and export. The rate of nuclear import of newly synthesized FRQ is progressively reduced in a phosphorylation-dependent manner, leading to an increase in the steady-state level of cytoplasmic FRQ. The long-period frq(7) mutant displays reduced kinetics of FRQ(7) protein phosphorylation and a prolonged accumulation in the nucleus. We present a mathematical model that describes the cytoplasmic accumulation of wild-type and mutant FRQ on a circadian time scale on the basis of frequency-modulated rapid nucleocytoplasmic shuttling cycles.