Circadian rhythm of Kai-protein
An alternative interpretation of the slow KaiB-KaiC binding of the cyanobacterial clock proteins

The biological clock of cyanobacteria is composed of three proteins, KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC. The KaiB-KaiC binding brings the slowness into the system, which is essential for the long period of the circadian rhythm. However, there is no consensus as to the origin of the slowness due to the pre-binding conformational transition of either KaiB or KaiC. In this study, we propose a simple KaiB-KaiC binding scheme in a hexameric form with an attractive interaction between adjacent bound KaiB monomers, which is independent of KaiB’s conformational change. We then show that the present scheme can explain several important experimental results on the binding, including that used as evidence for the slow conformational transition of KaiB. The present result thus indicates that the slowness arises from KaiC rather than KaiB.
Koda and Saito, Sci. Rep. 10, 10439 (2020).