Navigation Links
Circadian Clocks Triggered Chemical Reactions may Be Behind Jet Lag

Scientists from Cornell University and Dartmouth University have explained the biological mechanism by which circadian clocks, a factor responsible for why people get sleepy at night and wake in the morning, sense light through a process that transfers energy from light to chemical reactions in cells, which may be behind jet lag, mental illness, and even some forms of cancer in humans.

Circadian clocks in cells respond to differences in light between night and day and thereby allow organisms to anticipate changes in the environment by pacing their metabolism to this daily cycle. They affect many processes like setting timing when blooming plants open their petals in the morning and close them at night, or setting when fungi release spores to maximize their reproductive success.

"These clocks are highly conserved in all organisms, and in organisms separated by hundreds of millions of years of evolution," said Brian Crane, the paper's senior author and an Associate Professor in Cornell's Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

During the study, the researchers focused on how a fungus uses circadian clock light sensors to control production of carotenoids, which protect against damage from the sun's ultraviolet radiation just after sunrise. They studied a protein called vivid, which contains a chromophore, a light-absorbing molecule.

The researchers say that the chromophore captures a particle of light, and the captured energy from the light triggers a series of interactions that ultimately lead to conformational changes on the surface of the vivid protein, causing a cascade of events affecting the expression of genes, such as turning carotenoid production on and off.

When they substituted a single atom (sulphur for oxygen) on the surface of the vivid protein, the chain of events shut down, preventing the structural changes on the protein's surface, as a result of which, the regulation of carot enoid production was disrupted.

"We can now show that this conformational change in the protein is directly related to its function in the organism," said Brian Zoltowski, the paper's lead author and a graduate student at Cornell in chemical biology.

The researchers believe that just like the circadian clock allows the fungus to regulate and produce carotenoids only when they are needed for protection against the sun's rays, a similar "switch" may be responsible for timing the sleep cycle in humans.

"We were interested in trying to understand behavior at the molecular level. This a great example of chemical biology, in that we can perturb the chemistry of a single molecule in a particular way and actually change the behavior of a complex organism," said Crane.

The study has been published in the journal Science.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Circadian Rhythm Could Determine Lung Function
2. Researchers Investigate Gene Linked With Circadian Liver Clock
3. Study Reveals Little-known Cell Networks Vital to Circadian Rhythm
4. Life Functions Governed by Circadian Rhythms-new Research
5. Model of Internal Clocks Reveals How Jet Lag Disrupts the System
6. Asthma Attacks May Be Triggered By Inhalers
7. Leukaemia May Be Triggered By Insecticides
8. Doctors Predict an Asthma Epidemic Triggered by Thunderstorms
9. Knee Osteoarthritis May Be Triggered By Low Levels Of Estrogen
10. Chemical in Gila monsters saliva yields Alzheimer drug
11. Chemical found in plants may be the treatment for leukemia
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not ... comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... First ... United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell ... facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are ... many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys are ... for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing within ... of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. Bloom, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The ... published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Any dentist who has made an implant ... process. Many of them do not even offer this as ... high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able to ... a high cost that the majority of today,s patients would ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: