Gene Networks Underlying Chronic Sleep Deprivation in Drosophila
Final rept. 15 Apr 2009-14 Apr 2013
CALIFORNIA UNIV SAN DIEGO LA JOLLA
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Studies of the gene network affected by sleep deprivation and stress in the fruit fly Drosophila have revealed the involvement of a variety of genes known for their role in neural development and function. In particular, the TGF-alphaEGF-receptor and WntFrizzled signal transduction pathways are affected. Subsequent tests of mutants in these pathways demonstrated a strong effect on sleep maintenance. Further investigation of genes directly affected by alterations in these two pathways revealed a set of genes already known for their putative role in autism, a syndrome known for its pronounced deficits in sleep, its elevated stress response, and its cognitive defects. These findings point to promising leads for future research to establish the causal connections between stress and neural function, and to identify strategies for ameliorating their detrimental effects.
- Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Stress Physiology