Suppression of WC-independent frequency transcription by RCO-1 is essential for Neurospora circadian clock

Zhipeng Zhou, Xiao Liu, Qiwen Hu, Ning Zhang, Guangyan Sun, Joonseok Cha, Ying Wang, Yi Liu, Qun He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Rhythmic activation and repression of clock gene transcription is essential for the functions of eukaryotic circadian clocks. In the Neurospora circadian oscillator, frequency (frq) transcription requires the WHITE COLLAR (WC) complex. Here, we show that the transcriptional corepressor regulation of conidiation-1 (RCO-1) is essential for clock function by regulating frq transcription. In rco-1 mutants, both overt and molecular rhythms are abolished, frq mRNA levels are constantly high, and WC binding to the frq promoter is dramatically reduced. Surprisingly, frq mRNA levels were constantly high in the rco-1 wc double mutants, indicating that RCO-1 suppresses WC-independent transcription and promotes WC complex binding to the frq promoter. Furthermore, RCO-1 is required for maintaining normal chromatin structure at the frq locus. Deletion of H3K36 methyltransferase su(var)3-9-enhancer-of-zeste-trithorax-2 (SET-2) or the chromatin remodeling factor CHD-1 leads to WC-independent frq transcription and loss of overt rhythms. Together, our results uncover a previously unexpected regulatory mechanism for clock gene transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E4867-E4874
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 10 2013


  • Clock gene frq
  • H3K36me3
  • RCO-1/Tup1
  • Transcriptional repression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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