Modeling temperature entrainment of circadian clocks using the Arrhenius equation and a reconstructed model from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Ines Heiland, Christian Bodenstein, Thomas Hinze, Olga Weisheit, Oliver Ebenhöh, Maria Mittag, Stefan Schuster

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Endogenous circadian rhythms allow living organisms to anticipate daily variations in their natural environment. Temperature regulation and entrainment mechanisms of circadian clocks are still poorly understood. To better understand the molecular basis of these processes, we built a mathematical model based on experimental data examining temperature regulation of the circadian RNA-binding protein CHLAMY1 from the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, simulating the effect of temperature on the rates by applying the Arrhenius equation. Using numerical simulations, we demonstrate that our model is temperature-compensated and can be entrained to temperature cycles of various length and amplitude. The range of periods that allow entrainment of the model depends on the shape of the temperature cycles and is larger for sinusoidal compared to rectangular temperature curves. We show that the response to temperature of protein (de)phosphorylation rates play a key role in facilitating temperature entrainment of the oscillator in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We systematically investigated the response of our model to single temperature pulses to explain experimentally observed phase response curves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-464
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biological Physics
Issue number3
Early online date4 Mar 2012
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012



  • circadian oscillator
  • temperature compensation
  • temperature entrainment
  • phase response curves
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

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