Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Early to bed, early to rise

20.09.2006
Genetics of the morning lark

In an upcoming G&D paper, a team of German scientists presents a genetic basis for understanding human morning lark behavior. Dr. Achim Kramer (Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin) and colleagues have uncovered a genetic cause for the human familial advanced sleep phase syndrome (FASPS), which causes people to both go to sleep and wake up very early.

"Being a morning lark or a night owl is something encoded in people's genes and we here made substantial progress to uncover the molecular basis for that," explains Dr. Kramer.

FASPS is a dominantly inherited circadian rhythm disorder in which patients' inborn biological clock (or circadian clock as it is known by scientists) runs ahead of normal. Circadian clocks are found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. They keep our bodies' daily activities, like sleeping and eating, on a roughly 24 hour schedule, or period. FASPS patients' periods are about 4 hours advanced, causing the patients to retire at 6 or 7pm and rise by 4am. In 1999, it was discovered that a mutated gene, called PERIOD2 (PER2) is mutated in many cases of FASPS.

... more about:
»FASPS »PER2 »circadian

Dr. Kramer and colleagues mapped phosphorylation sites on the PER2 protein. They identified 21 sites, one of which (Serine 659), was implicated in FASPS. By monitoring the bioluminescence cycles of cell lines, the researchers demonstrated that mutation of Serine 659 causes a shortening of the luminescence period and recapitulates the FASPS phenotype. The researchers determined that the mutated form of Serine 659, which does not get phosphorylated, leads to PER2's destabilization and earlier clearance from the cell nucleus.

The research team went on to show that mutations of other PER2 phosphorylation sites have differential effects on PER2 protein stability, circadian period length, and organismal behavior. In fact, using a simple mathematical algorithm modeled after their work, the researchers successfully explained how different PER phosphorylation defects result in the behaviors displayed by well-known circadian mutants in hamsters and fruit flies.

Dr. Kramer adds that "This is the first example where the regulation of a complex human behaviour could be really nailed down to its genetic basis and molecular mechanism."

Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu

Further reports about: FASPS PER2 circadian

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins
12.11.2018 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht How to produce fluorescent nanoparticles for medical applications in a nuclear reactor
09.11.2018 | Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>