Molecules vital for internal body-clock tuning identified
Researchers have found a type of molecule known as long non-coding RNA which is responsible for regulating the internal body clocks.
According to the researchers, this study establishes a role for long non-coding RNAs in 'tuning' the circadian clock, and also shows how they control gene expression.
The existence of long non-coding RNAs in abundance in many organisms was know, but it was unknown how and what they do in the body, which has now been answered partially.
The internal body clocks, called circadian clocks, regulate the daily "rhythms" of many bodily functions, from waking and sleeping to body temperature and hunger, and are largely "tuned" to a 24-hour cycle that is influenced by external cues such as light and temperature.
This study adds to an important body of work that has shown the ubiquity of a circadian clock across species, including humans, and its role in metabolic regulation in cells, organs, and organisms.
The findings are published online in the journal Nature.
(Posted on 20-08-2014)