Researchers identify molecule crucial to adjusting bodys internal clock

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Is your biological clock out of kilter? Researchers say they have identified an important molecule in the retina-brain pathway that is crucial to adjusting the clock.

In the Nov. 9 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists point a finger at pituitary adenylyl cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP), whose function had been a mystery. In both animal and cellular studies, they found that PACAP works in concert with glutamate, another molecule in the nerve fibers between the retina and hypothalamus, home of the circadian clock.

"This study provides insight as to how the complex external signals that we encounter daily, such as the range of light intensities, are encoded and communicated to the brain," said Martha Gillette, the head of the department of cell and structural biology at the University of Illinois. "Light that you experience at night triggers the release of both glutamate and PACAP. The ratio probably depends on the intensity of the light stimulus."

Gillette's lab in 1994 reported that glutamate adjusts the clock in the presence of light at night. "PACAP fine tunes the glutamate signal," she said. "Together they convey more than just light is present. They encode information about light properties that is taken back to the clock, allowing it to adjust forward or backward appropriately."

The study - funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Danish Medical Research Council - focused on PACAP after a Danish group discovered that the molecule was localizing in the neural pathway. The question became what was PACAP doing?

"Adding exogenous PACAP together with glutamate had a negative effect on the amplitude of the clock-resetting effect of glutamate, which itself has the same effect on clock-resetting as light under laboratory conditions," Gillette said. "The surprise was that when we used fragments of the PACAP peptide as a control, the res

Contact: Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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:

(Date:4/11/2017)... Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets has ... report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of ... Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth ... market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , ... server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune ... already secured over 15 million users across the financial ... connected home product suites and physical access represent a ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 The research team of The Hong ... fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and ... speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, ... ... A research team led ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and ... of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO ... Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative ... attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... this year’s recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who ... be presented in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The ... medical marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana ... place in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: