By focusing on the amount of chemical substances involved in the biological clock, Professor Kunihiko Kaneko of the University of Tokyo and others clarified the reason why the cycle is almost constant at about 24 hours.It will be useful for the treatment of jet lag and will be a stepping stone to elucidate how organisms apply to the environment.
Many organisms, from bacteria to humans, have a 24-hour cycle biological clock, and even if they deviate, they can set the time by relying on the temperature changes of the day.On the other hand, even if the time is adjusted, the cycle itself hardly changes from 24 hours.It is indispensable to have both flexibility to adapt to the environment and robustness that does not change even if the environment changes in order to live with the correct rhythm, but it has been a mystery for about 60 years why it is possible. I've been.
To explore this mystery, the group scrutinized the action of chemicals involved in the mechanism of the biological clock.In the biological clock, the progress of a certain chemical reaction works like an hourglass to determine the cycle, but usually the speed of the reaction also changes with changes in temperature.On the other hand, it was found that there is a substance in the system of the biological clock that has the effect of canceling the change in reaction rate and keeping it constant.Furthermore, by adjusting the amount of this substance in response to changes in temperature, we found that the cycle of the body clock was kept constant.
In this way, we were able to clarify the mechanism by which the body clock adapts to the environment.In addition, it can be expected that the effects of changes in the environment can be counteracted by adjusting the amount of substances in the body, which is common to other functions of living organisms.This discovery can be expected to be a stepping stone to elucidate the principle of organism adaptation to the environment.