Scientists from the Netherlands and Japan have introduced a light-controlled kinase inhibitor switch that affects the function of the biological clock.
Life on Earth has evolved in a 24-hour cycle between light and dark, warm and cold. As a result, our cells synchronize with these 24-hour fluctuations, notes Viktor Szymanski, professor of radiological chemistry at the Groningen Medical Center.
Our circadian clock is controlled by a central regulator in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the area of the brain just above the optic nerve, but all of our cells contain their own clock. They can be tracked by fluctuations in the production and breakdown of certain proteins. The work of these rhythms can be disrupted and this will lead to illness. And, of course, the change of time zones during travel or the transition to summer or winter time has a detrimental effect.
Previously, circadian biologist Tsuyoshi Hirota, an assistant professor at the Institute of Transforming Biomolecules at Nagoya University, developed a kinase inhibitor called longdaysin (literally translated as “long days”), which slows down circadian rhythms to a cycle that lasts up to 48 hours. In a new study, the design was equipped with a switch that allowed it to activate or deactivate a connection.
The new apparatus can shift the biological clock and align the circadian rhythms in the body. It has already been tested on zebra slaves.
The authors believe that the tested and modified version of the device will be used in the treatment of patients in serious condition.