Transcriptional repressor PRR5 directly regulates clock-output pathways
The circadian clock is an endogenous time-keeping mechanism that enables organisms to adapt to external daily cycles. The clock coordinates biological activities with these cycles, mainly through genome-wide gene expression. However, the exact mechanism underlying regulation of circadian gene expression is poorly understood. Here we demonstrated that an Arabidopsis PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR 5 (PRR5), which acts in the clock genetic circuit, directly regulates expression timing of key transcription factors involved in clock-output pathways. A transient expression assay and ChIP-quantitative PCR assay using mutated PRR5 indicated that PRR5 associates with target DNA through binding at the CCT motif in vivo. ChIP followed by deep sequencing coupled with genome-wide expression profiling revealed the direct-target genes of PRR5. PRR5 direct-targets include genes encoding transcription factors involved in flowering-time regulation, hypocotyl elongation, and cold-stress responses. PRR5-target gene expression followed a circadian rhythm pattern with low, basal expression from noon until midnight, when PRR9, PRR7, and PRR5 were expressed. ChIP-quantitative PCR assays indicated that PRR7 and PRR9 bind to the direct-targets of PRR5. Genome-wide expression profiling using a prr9 prr7 prr5 triple mutant suggests that PRR5, PRR7, and PRR9 repress these targets. Taken together, our results illustrate a genetic network in which PRR5, PRR7, and PRR9 directly regulate expression timing of key transcription factors to coordinate physiological processes with daily cycles.