HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Researchers Determine Three Dimensional Structure Of Melatonin Producing Enzyme

Researchers from two NIH institutes have determined the three-dimensional structure of an enzyme that produces melatonin--a key hormone that regulates the body's internal clock. The accomplishment may lead to the eventual design of drugs to fight jet lag, to help shift workers adjust to variable schedules, and to combat depression.

The finding, appearing in the January issue of Molecular Cell, represents the first time that the structure of a protein involved in regulating the body's day/night rhythms has been determined.

The authors of the paper were Alison Burgess Hickman and David C. Klein, of the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and Fred Dyda, of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Briefly, Dr. Klein explained, melatonin is made in the pineal gland of the brain from the brain chemical, serotonin, with the help of two enzymes: arylalkylamine N-acetyl transferase (AA-NAT) and hydroxyindole-O-methyl transferase (HIOMT). AA-NAT appears to be the "melatonin rhythm enzyme," because a large increase in the activity of AA-NAT is responsible for the high levels of melatonin found in the brain and in the bloodstream at night.

Similarly, low levels of melatonin formed during the day reflect low levels of this enzyme. This difference in day and night levels of melatonin is important for setting the body's circadian clock.

In the current paper, the three NIH researchers determined the three dimensional structure of AA-NAT. This advance will allow researchers to more precisely determine how melatonin is produced in response to darkness, and how production is switched off in response to light. In the Molecular Cell paper, the investigators wrote that such knowledge may, in turn, lead to the eventual design of drugs to that would prevent AA-NAT from bei
'"/>

Contact: Robert Bock
rb96a@nih.gov
301-496-5133
NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
2-Feb-1999


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Researchers determine genetic cause of Timothy syndrome
2. Researchers find color sensitive atomic switch in bacteria
3. Researchers identify protein promoting vascular tumor growth
4. Researchers devise potent new tools to curb ivory poaching
5. Researchers create nanotubes that change colors, form nanocarpet and kill bacteria
6. Researchers ID chlorophyll-regulating gene
7. Researchers develop fast track way to discover how cells are regulated
8. Researchers identify distinctive signature for metastatic prostate cancer
9. Researchers report new gene test for isolated cleft lip and palate
10. Researchers discover why mutant gene causes colon cancer
11. Researchers identify the genomes controlling elements

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/26/2020)... SAN DIEGO and SHANGHAI (PRWEB) , ... August ... ... company pursuing novel approaches for the treatment of chronic inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, ... Operating Officer and Vice President of Drug Discovery. , Dr. Canan previously served ...
(Date:8/21/2020)... LEXINGTON, Mass. (PRWEB) , ... August 18, 2020 ... ... novel approaches to cell therapy, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug ... evaluation of Sentien’s lead asset, SBI-101, for the treatment of severe COVID-19. Approval ...
(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 12, 2020 , ... Mosio recently announced ... for public health agencies of all sizes. With a focus on tracking symptoms ... find appropriate health care, Mosio helps public health departments automate communications and provide ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/22/2020)... , ... July 22, 2020 , ... Join experts from ... Lorenc, Sr. Manager Regulatory Solutions, in a one hour live webinar on ... regulating body in China for drugs and medical devices. Specifically, for medical devices, the ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... TORONTO (PRWEB) , ... July 17, 2020 , ... ... and global consulting firm for the life sciences and food industries, is pleased ... new Director of Clinical Research – Business Development. , Charles is an accomplished ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... ... therapy, today announced the hiring of Allen R. Nissenson, M.D., F.A.C.P., as its ... the clinical development of Sentien’s lead product, SBI-101. Dr. Nissenson serves as ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... The Interlocal Purchasing ... to its membership, recently named BioFit Engineered Products an Awarded Vendor. ... purchase ergonomic seating, cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts at discounted pricing without ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: