The intelligent clock and the Rube Goldberg clock

Circadian rhythms are generated by cell-autonomous molecular clocks in organisms ranging from cyanobacteria to humans. Recent research on the mechanisms of molecular clocks call for a reflection on the cause and necessity of complexity in biological systems.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: The intelligent clock and the Rube Goldberg clock.

Kim Caesar

Figure 2: Dual roles of CLOCK acetyltransferase activity in regulating the mammalian circadian clock.

Kim Caesar

References

  1. 1

    Young, M.W. & Kay, S.A. Nat. Rev. Genet. 2, 702–715 (2001).

  2. 2

    Reppert, S.M. & Weaver, D.R. Nature 418, 935–941 (2002).

  3. 3

    Doi, M., Hirayama, J. & Sassone-Corsi, P. Cell 125, 497–508 (2006).

  4. 4

    Hirayama, J. et al. Nature 450, 1086–1090 (2007).

  5. 5

    Nakajima, M. et al. Science 308, 414–415 (2005).

  6. 6

    Woelfle, M.A., Xu, Y., Qin, X. & Johnson, C.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 18819–18824 (2007).

  7. 7

    Mori, T. et al. PLoS Biol. 5, e93 (2007).

  8. 8

    Clodong, S. et al. Mol. Syst. Biol. 3, 90 (2007).

  9. 9

    Rust, M.J., Markson, J.S., Lane, W.S., Fisher, D.S. & O'Shea, E.K. Science 318, 809–812 (2007).

  10. 10

    Partch, C.L., Shields, K.F., Thompson, C.L., Selby, C.P. & Sancar, A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 10467–10472 (2006).

  11. 11

    Virshup, D.M. & Forger, D.B. Cell 129, 857–859 (2007).

  12. 12

    Nakahata, Y., Grimaldi, B., Sahar, S., Hirayama, J. & Sassone-Corsi, P. Curr. Opin. Cell Biol. 19, 230–237 (2007).

Download references

Acknowledgements

I thank L.A. Lindsey-Boltz, J.T. Reardon and C.P. Selby for comments on the manuscript and C.A. McCormick for her insight into the Rube Goldberg machines.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sancar, A. The intelligent clock and the Rube Goldberg clock. Nat Struct Mol Biol 15, 23–24 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb0108-23

Download citation

Further reading