An undisturbed peaceful sleep is what is advised by doctors to be active the following day .Putting forth a genetic validation to it, scientists from the Ludwig Maximilians University have disclosed a specific genetic variant linked to sleep duration existing commonly in the normal population.
About 4000 people enrolled for the trial where they were surveyed on their sleeping practices. As per the results, individuals who slept for a considerably shorter duration in calm surroundings seemingly possessed 2 copies of a common variant of the gene ABCC9, as compared to those who had 2 copies of another form.
Notably, the gene ABCC9 encrypted the protein SUR2, which is part of the regulatory factors of a potassium pathway along the walls of cells. This ion channel served as a sensor for metabolism of energy in the body.
“It is particularly intriguing that functional studies have shown that the protein plays a role in the pathogenesis of heart disease and diabetes. So apparently the relationships of sleep duration with metabolic syndrome symptoms can be in part explained by an underlying common molecular mechanism,” commented Dr. Karla V. Allebrandt, first author on the new analysis and a chronogeneticist at LMU Munich.
The scientists also believed that ABCC9 gene is primal in nature as even fruitflies, which are known to manifest sleep like behaviors seemed to possess a similar gene. In the research, the analysts impeded the ABCC9 functionality in the nervous mechanism of the fly. The outcomes showed that the duration of night time sleep was apparently cut short. In case of mammals, this gene is also implicated in other tissues like the heart, skeletal muscles, brain and the pancreas.
This research essentially unfolded the genetic regulation of sleep duration among flies, which could be connoted to other species as well. It is published in the journal, Molecular Psychiatry.