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Sci. Signal., 22 July 2008
Vol. 1, Issue 29, p. ec266
[DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.129ec266]

EDITORS' CHOICE

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.

K. Koh, W. J. Joiner, M. N. Wu, Z. Yue, C. J. Smith, A. Sehgal, Identification of SLEEPLESS, a sleep-promoting factor. Science 321, 372-376 (2008). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: K. L. Kelner, Sleepless in Drosophila. Sci. Signal. 1, ec266 (2008).


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