Image_3_Luciferase-Based Screen for Post-translational Control Factors in the Regulation of the Pseudo-Response Regulator PRR7.jpeg
Control of protein turnover is a key post-translational control point in the oscillatory network of the circadian clock. Some elements, such as TOC1 and PRR5 are engaged by a well-described F-box protein, ZEITLUPE, dedicated to their proteolytic turnover to shape their expression profile to a specific time of night. For most other clock components the regulation of their protein abundance is unknown, though turnover is often rapid and often lags the cycling of the respective mRNA. Here we report the design and results of an unbiased genetic screen in Arabidopsis to uncover proteolytic regulatory factors of PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR 7 (PRR7), a transcriptional repressor that peaks in the late afternoon. We performed EMS mutagenesis on a transgenic line expressing a PRR7::PRR7-luciferase (PRR7-LUC) translational fusion that accurately recapitulates the diurnal and circadian oscillations of the endogenous PRR7 protein. Using continuous luciferase imaging under constant light, we recovered mutants that alter the PRR7-LUC waveform and some that change period. We have identified novel alleles of ELF3 and ELF4, core components of the ELF3-ELF4-LUX Evening Complex (EC), that dampen the oscillation of PRR7-LUC. We report the characterization of two new hypomorphic alleles of ELF3 that help to understand the relationship between molecular potency and phenotype.