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:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the ... several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe ... from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine ... his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set of ... or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, Serenity ... event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, guilt, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty Network, ... M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. ... the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” He ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate with operations headquartered in ... America . ... ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that ... Supplier Horizon Award . One of ... was recognized for its support of Premier members through ... clinical excellence, and commitment to lower costs. ... this recognition of our outstanding customer service from Premier," ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Surgical Procedure Volumes: Global Analysis (United States, China, Japan, ... report to their offering. ... tool for healthcare business planners, provides surgical procedure volume ... surgery trends with an in-depth analysis of growth drivers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: