Infoscience

Review

Cellular oscillators: rhythmic gene expression and metabolism

Many biological processes are driven by biological clocks that, depending on the frequency they generate, are classified into ultradian, circadian and infradian oscillators. In virtually all light-sensitive organisms from cyanobacteria to humans, a circadian timing system adapts cyclic physiology to geophysical time. Recent evidence suggests that even in mammals circadian oscillators function in a cell-autonomous manner. In yeast, an ultradian oscillator regulates cyclic respiratory activity and global gene expression. Circadian oscillators and the ultradian yeast respiratory clock share at least four properties: they follow limit-cycle kinetics, interweave with cellular metabolism, are temperature-compensated and influence the cell division clock.

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