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Rhythmic potassium transport regulates the circadian clock in human red blood cells

Henslee, Erin, Crosby, Priya, Kitcatt, Stephen, Parry, Jack S. W., Bernardini, Andrea, Abdallat, Rula G., Braun, Gabriella, Fatoyinbo, Henry O., Harrison, Esther J., Edgar, Rachel S. , Hoettges, Kai, Reddy, Akhilesh B., Jabr, Rita, von Schantz, Malcolm, O’Neill, John S. and Labeed, Fatima (2017) Rhythmic potassium transport regulates the circadian clock in human red blood cells Nature Communications, 8, 1978(2017).

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Circadian rhythms organize many aspects of cell biology and physiology to a daily temporal program that depends on clock gene expression cycles in most mammalian cell types. However, circadian rhythms are also observed in isolated mammalian red blood cells (RBCs), which lack nuclei, suggesting the existence of post-translational cellular clock mechanisms in these cells. By using electrophysiological and pharmacological approaches, we show that human RBCs display circadian regulation of membrane conductance and cytoplasmic conductivity that depends on the cycling of cytoplasmic K+ levels. Using pharmacological intervention and ion replacement, we show that inhibition of K+ transport abolishes RBC electrophysiological rhythms. Our results suggest that in the absence of conventional transcription cycles, RBCs maintain a circadian rhythm in membrane electrophysiology through dynamic regulation of K+ transport.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering Sciences
Authors :
Crosby, Priya
Parry, Jack S. W.
Bernardini, Andrea
Abdallat, Rula G.
Braun, Gabriella
Fatoyinbo, Henry O.
Harrison, Esther J.
Edgar, Rachel S.
Reddy, Akhilesh B.
von Schantz,
O’Neill, John S.
Date : 7 December 2017
Funders : Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Medical Research Council (MRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
DOI : 10.1038/s41467-017-02161-4
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright The Author(s) 2017. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords : Blood flow; Circadian rhythms; Electrophysiology
Additional Information : Article number: 1978 (2017)
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 02 Nov 2017 14:40
Last Modified : 11 Dec 2018 11:23

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