Sci. Signal., 22 July 2008
Neuroscience Sleepless in Drosophila
Katrina L. Kelner
Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA
All animals sleep, and the longer they are awake, the stronger the drive to sleep. To better understand the process of sleep, Koh et al. screened mutagenized Drosophila for genes involved in sleep regulation. They found one—sleepless—that is required for normal sleep; without sleepless, flies sleep much less, about 20% of normal. Sleepless is also required for rebound sleep after prolonged waking. Sleepless is an allele of quiver, a gene that modulates the K+ channel activity encoded by Shaker, which also affects sleep. K+ channel-associated neuronal sensitivity may thus play a role in the control of sleep, and the SLEEPLESS protein may signal the drive to sleep by decreasing membrane excitability.
Citation: K. L. Kelner, Sleepless in Drosophila. Sci. Signal. 1, ec266 (2008).
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