Like the clocks in our home, our biological clocks are always ticking. But researchers at Tufts University have found that the clock cells in our brains make most of their proteins just twice a day. A new study published in PLoS Biology looked at a large number of proteins in the clock cells of fruit flies that were known to be synthesized in a circadian rhythm. Looking at this ‘translatome,’ theresearchers found that nearly all of this protein synthesis occurred at one of two times during the day. The production of mRNAs and proteins governing metabolism peaked in the middle of the day, whereas those required for cell growth peaked in the middle of the night. Understanding how these proteins are synthesized under normal conditions will help scientists better understand what happens when the circadian clock is disrupted.
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Journal article: Translational Profiling of Clock Cells Reveals Circadianly Synchronized Protein Synthesis. PLoS Biology, 2013. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001703
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