Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Circadian Rhythm-Metabolism Link Discovered

Date:
July 25, 2008
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Researchers have found a molecular link between circadian rhythms -- our own body clock -- and metabolism. The discovery reveals new possibilities for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and other related diseases.

UC Irvine researchers have found a molecular link between circadian rhythms -- our own body clock -- and metabolism. The discovery reveals new possibilities for the treatment of diabetes, obesity and other related diseases.

Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, and his colleagues have identified that an essential protein called CLOCK that regulates the body's circadian rhythms, works in balance with another protein called SIRT1 that modulates how much energy a cell uses.

"This interplay has far-reaching implications for human illness and aging, and it is likely vital for proper metabolism," said Sassone-Corsi, one of the world's leading researchers on circadian rhythms. The study appears in the July 25 issue of Cell.

Circadian rhythms of 24 hours govern fundamental physiological functions in almost all organisms. The circadian clocks are intrinsic time-tracking systems in our bodies that anticipate environmental changes and adapt themselves to the appropriate time of day.

Disruption of these rhythms can profoundly influence human health and has been linked to metabolic disorders, insomnia, depression, coronary heart diseases and cancer.

It is estimated that up to 15 percent of our genes are regulated by these circadian clocks. Sassone-Corsi identified in 2006 that the protein CLOCK is an essential molecular gear of the circadian machinery.

Now, he and his colleagues have shown that the protein SIRT1 counterbalances the function of CLOCK. Even though SIRT1's function differs from CLOCK's, the two proteins interact, creating a bond that is finely regulated in the cell.

SIRT1 senses energy levels in the cell; its activity is modulated by how many nutrients a cell is consuming. It also helps cells resist oxidative and radiation-induced stress, and for this reason SIRT1 is known to help control the process of aging.

CLOCK and SIRT1 are both part of the epigenome, which consists of proteins existing in connection with a cell's DNA that take external environmental factors and make the cell's genes behave differently, even though those genes do not structurally change.

"When this balance between these two vital proteins is upset, normal cellular function can be disrupted," Sassone-Corsi said. "Because of the role these two enzymes play, changes in our sleep patterns or our diets can directly be translated into how our cells act."

The findings also suggest that proper sleep and diet could help maintain or rebuild the CLOCK-SIRT1 equilibrium and may help explain why lack of proper rest or disruption in our normal sleep patterns is known to increase hunger, which can lead to obesity and related illnesses and can accelerate the aging process.

The specific interaction between CLOCK and SIRT1 also could lead to the development of drugs aimed at facilitating healthy metabolism, thereby helping to solve major social and medical problems such as diabetes and obesity.

Yasukazu Nakahata, Milota Kaluzova, Benedetto Grimaldi, Saurabh Sahar and Jun Hirayama of UCI, and Danica Chen and Leonard P. Guarente of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology participated in the study, which was supported by the Cancer Research Coordinating Committee of the University of California and the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Circadian Rhythm-Metabolism Link Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724123207.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2008, July 25). Circadian Rhythm-Metabolism Link Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724123207.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Circadian Rhythm-Metabolism Link Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724123207.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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