U.C. Irvine scientists have discovered that a single amino acid activates the genes regulating our circadian rhythms. Targeting that switch could lead to new drugs for the treatment of sleep disorders, and research has already begun towards that end.
As reported by HealthDay News:
"Because the triggering action is so specific, it appears to be a perfect target for compounds that could regulate this activity. It is always amazing to see how molecular control is so precise in biology," study author Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Pharmacology, said in a prepared statement.
The study is reported in a letter to Nature Magazine, online (and firewalled) here.