Which gene’s loss can affect daily behaviour? Study finds out

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Life is organized on a 24-hour schedule. Central to this regular rhythm is the circadian clock, the timekeepers that are present in almost every organ, tissue and cell type.

New Delhi: Life is organized on a 24-hour schedule. Central to this regular rhythm is the circadian clock, the timekeepers that are present in almost every organ, tissue and cell type. When the clock breaks down, sleep is disturbed or many diseases can occur.


Study Procee. was published byDings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Allada is the corresponding author of the paper.


A recent Northwestern University discovery may help to understand how this clock is linked to daily cycles. A team of neurobiologists has identified a new gene called tango10, which is important for daily behavioral rhythms. This gene is involved in a molecular pathway by which the core circadian clock (“gear”) controls the cellular output (“hands”) of the clock to control daily sleep-wake cycles.


While the study was conducted using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the findings have implications for humans. Knowledge of how this pathway works could lead to therapeutics to help with sleep problems and shed light on clock-related human diseases, such as depression, neurodegenerative disease and metabolic disease.


Dr Ravi Allada, a circadian rhythm specialist who led the study, said, “Scientists know a lot about the ‘gears’ of the clock, but not so much about the ‘hands’, where the behavior originates, or both. There is a relationship between


“We wanted to better understand the molecular basis of the daily ‘wake-up signal’ that alerts an animal that it is time to wake up,” he said. “In this study, we focused on the pacemaker neurons that control the sleep-wake cycle and used genetic screening to identify the genes that control the neurons.”


Edgar C. in Allada Neuroscience. Stuntz is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Allada is also associate director of the Northwestern Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology.


In addition to the fly experiments conducted in Allada’s lab, the Northwestern team worked with Casey Diekman and Matthew Moyet of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, who conducted computational modeling experiments.
The Northwestern researchers examined several genes that they thought might be important for the operation of the circadian clock and the behavior of the fly. Through this process, he discovered a gene called tango10. When they deleted this gene, the fly lost its normal 24-hour behavioral rhythm. Some potassium currents were reduced and potentially resulted in overactive neurons and contributed to the loss of regular rhythm.


Under normal conditions in the fly, Tango10 protein levels move up and down over circadian time which can modulate the activity of neurons to move up and down, which in turn can drive the animal’s sleep-wake cycle and behavior. Is. In flies that lack the tango 10 gene, this daily rhythm is disrupted.


“Our findings fill a molecular gap in our understanding of how the main gears of a watch control the hands,” Allada said. (ANI)

First published:November 24, 2021, 3:12 pm

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