Scientists in Japan have designed new molecules that modify the circadian rhythm, opening the way to the possibility of managing jet lag and improving treatments for sleep disorders.
The negative impacts of jet lag and shift work could be significantly reduced if it were possible to reset our 24-hour natural circadian or sleep/wake cycle. Researchers at Nagoya University’s Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) have taken the first step in that direction by synthesising molecules that can shorten the circadian period. These molecules act directly on one of our “clock proteins”, called CRY.
Most living organisms, including humans, have a biological clock that resets every 24 hours, regulating functions such as sleep/wake cycles and metabolism. When this cycle is disrupted, like in jet lag, sleep disorders ensue. Long-term sleep loss may affect the cardiovascular, endocrine, immune and nervous systems with severe consequences including hypertension, obesity and mental health disorders, among others.
Our biological clock is basically run by four “master regulator” proteins that work in tandem. CLOCK and BMAL1, when combined, promote the production of the proteins PER and CRY. These proteins, in turn, block CLOCK and BMAL1, thus closing the cycle. This cycle of activation, production and stop/block goes around once a day and is also influenced by a compound called FBXL3, which flags CRY for degradation by cellular enzymes.
A molecule discovered in 2012, called KL001, lengthens the circadian cycle by competing with FBLX3 for the same spot on the CRY protein, preventing its degradation. By carefully analysing its structure, the ITbM researchers prepared compounds that were similar to KL001, thus synthesising the first circadian shortening molecules that target the CRY protein.
This tailor-made approach to designing molecules holds great potential for the future. Takashi Yoshimura, one of the authors of the article, says, “We hope we can make further use of synthetic chemistry to make bioactive molecules that can control the circadian rhythm of animals and gain further insight into the circadian clock mechanism, which will surely contribute to medical applications, food production and advances in clock research.”
The Latest on: Circadian rhythm
via Google News
The Latest on: Circadian rhythm
- Foods That Can Help You Beat Jet Lag on April 18, 2019 at 11:23 am
Circadian rhythms or your body’s natural internal clock, have been the focus of a great deal of research lately, as science unearths their role in everything from weight gain to depression. But ... […]
- Easter reminds us of the rhythms of spring on April 17, 2019 at 1:23 pm
Springtime brings all kinds of fun and interesting work. Lisa Schmidt learned about the suction properties of saturated saline clay soil when she buried her tractor in a mud hole. Even the hydraulic ... […]
- Pepa, dhol rhythms bridge political divide on April 16, 2019 at 12:43 pm
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal speaks to a girl during the Rongali Bihu celebrations at Latasil playground in Guwahati on Sunday. UB Photos The notes that make up the songs of Bihu or the ... […]
- Circadian rhythm and road crashes on April 11, 2019 at 5:22 pm
THE recent factory bus crash, which claimed the lives of the driver and 11 passengers who were foreign workers, is another black mark in our road safety track record. There seems to be apathy on the ... […]
- Resetting Brain Rhythms Gives Working Memory a Brief Boost on April 10, 2019 at 5:27 pm
Groups of neurons fire in sync with each other across the brain when it performs a task; however, with age, they fall out of step. In the April 8 Nature Neuroscience, Robert Reinhart and John Nguyen ... […]
- Live Music, Dance, and Storytelling Among Free Offerings at Rhythms of the Village Spring Festival in Altadena on April 10, 2019 at 2:27 pm
The public is invited to attend a free community festival with the them of All Tribes Unit, on April 14, 2019, 12 pm to 6 pm. Highlights include live music and performances by African dancers, ... […]
- What are the effects of circadian rhythm in tennis training? on April 10, 2019 at 5:10 am
The circadian rhythm is a rhythm characterized by a period of about 24 hours. Examples are the wake-sleep rhythm, the rate of cortisol secretion and various other biological substances, the rate of ... […]
- Ballarat's Eastern Hotel will rock to African rhythms this Friday night on April 9, 2019 at 7:45 pm
One of South Sudan's musical geniuses, the multilingual, multi-instrumentalist Gordon Koang Doath, will be playing this Friday at The Eastern Station Hotel in Ballarat. Renowned in the troubled ... […]
- Circadian Rhythms and Bipolar Disorder - A Free Webinar from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation on April 8, 2019 at 8:37 am
New York, April 08, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is hosting a free interactive webinar on “Circadian Rhythms and Bipolar Disorder”on Tuesday, April 9, 2019, from ... […]
- SASKATOON MEN’S CHORUS – RHYTHMS OF SPRING on April 7, 2019 at 11:30 am
SASKATOON MEN'S CHORUS with Percussionists Darrell Bueckert and Fraser Krips. Adults $20.00, Seniors/Students $15.00, Children (12 and under) free. Tickets available at McNally Robinson ... […]
via Bing News