Brain: sleep regulator enzyme identified.
In Japan, a group of researchers has discovered an enzyme useful for regulating the amount and depth of sleep.
At the University of Tsukuba in Japan, a research team has found an enzyme that has the key function of regulating the amount and depth of sleep. An enzyme is famous for suppressing gene expression. Its name is a histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4), to proves it is a study on laboratory animals.
HDAC4 has previously been shown to be extensively affected by a process called phosphorylation. In this process, the enzyme moves from the nucleus of the cell and thus there is a reduced suppression of certain proteins. The study focused on a protein called salt-inducible kinase 3 (SIK3). This phosphorylates the enzyme which has a strong influence on sleep. Thus HDAC4 phosphorylation also impacts sleep.
It has been certified that in laboratory animals in which the SIK3 protein was absent, they slept less. When they had an active version of SIK3, however, they slept more. The active protein of SIK3 increases the phosphorylation of HDAC4. Another protein, LKB1, was also identified by the team. It phosphorylates SIK3, has effects on sleep suppression, in case of deficit. Sleep depth is regulated by signaling within the cells of the cerebral cortex . Signaling in the hypothalamus regulates the amount of deep sleep.