Vaccinia-related kinase 3 (VRK3) sets the circadian period and amplitude by affecting the subcellular localization of clock proteins in mammalian cells

Nayoung Park, Jieun Song, Seongsu Jeong, Thanh Thi Tran, Hyuk Wan Ko, Eun Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In the eukaryotic circadian clock machinery, negative feedback repression of CLOCK (CLK) and BMAL1 transcriptional activity by PERIOD (PER) and CRYPTOCHROME (CRY) underlies the basis for 24 h rhythmic gene expression. Thus, precise regulation of the time-dependent nuclear entry of circadian repressors is crucial to generating normal circadian rhythms. Here, we sought to identify novel kinase(s) that regulate nuclear entry of mammalian CRY1 (mCRY1) with an unbiased screening using red fluorescent protein (RFP)-tagged human kinome expression plasmids in mammalian cells. Transient expression of human vaccinia-related kinase 3 (hVRK3) reduced the nuclear presence of mCRY1. hVRK3 expression also induced alterations in the subcellular localization of other core clock proteins, including mCRY2, mPER2, and BMAL1. In contrast, the subcellular localization of mCLK was not changed. Given that singly expressed mCLK mostly resides in the cytoplasm and that nuclear localization sequence (NLS) mutation of hVRK3 attenuated the effect of hVRK3 co-expression on subcellular localization, ectopically expressed hVRK3 presumably reduces the retention of proteins in the nucleus. Finally, downregulation of hvrk3 using siRNA reduced the amplitude and lengthened the period of the cellular bioluminescence rhythm. Taken together, these data suggest that VRK3 plays a role in setting the amplitude and period length of circadian rhythms in mammalian cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 27


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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