from the so-that's-why-I-can't-sleep-when-I'm-wound-up? dept.
It's well known that the human body functions on a 24-hour, or circadian, schedule. The up-and-down daily cycles of a long-studied clock protein called Rev-erb coordinates the ebb and flow of gene expression by tightening and loosening loops in chromosomes, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The findings appear online this week in Science First Release.
Over the last 15-plus years, a team led by the new study's senior author Mitchell A. Lazar, MD, PhD, director of Penn's Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, has been teasing out the versatile role of Rev-erb in maintaining daily cycles of the body's molecular clock, metabolism, and even brain health.
"Many studies, including this one, point to a link between the human internal clock and such metabolic disorders as obesity and diabetes," Lazar said. "Proteins such as Rev-erb are the gears of the clock and understanding their role is important for investigating these and many other diseases."
Yong Hoon Kim, Sajid A. Marhon, Yuxiang Zhang, David J. Steger, Kyoung-Jae Won, Mitchell A. Lazar. Rev-erbα dynamically modulates chromatin looping to control circadian gene transcription. Science, 2018; eaao6891 DOI: 10.1126/science.aao6891