Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early To Bed, Early To Rise: Genetics Of The Morning Lark

Date:
September 20, 2006
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
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.

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.

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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Early To Bed, Early To Rise: Genetics Of The Morning Lark." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920094110.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2006, September 20). Early To Bed, Early To Rise: Genetics Of The Morning Lark. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920094110.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Early To Bed, Early To Rise: Genetics Of The Morning Lark." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920094110.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins