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Science. 2008 Jul 18;321(5887):372-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1155942.

Identification of SLEEPLESS, a sleep-promoting factor.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

Sleep is an essential process conserved from flies to humans. The importance of sleep is underscored by its tight homeostatic control. Through a forward genetic screen, we identified a gene, sleepless, required for sleep in Drosophila. The sleepless gene encodes a brain-enriched, glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein. Loss of SLEEPLESS protein caused an extreme (>80%) reduction in sleep; a moderate reduction in SLEEPLESS had minimal effects on baseline sleep but markedly reduced the amount of recovery sleep after sleep deprivation. Genetic and molecular analyses revealed that quiver, a mutation that impairs Shaker-dependent potassium current, is an allele of sleepless. Consistent with this finding, Shaker protein levels were reduced in sleepless mutants. We propose that SLEEPLESS is a signaling molecule that connects sleep drive to lowered membrane excitability.

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PMID:
18635795
PMCID:
PMC2771549
DOI:
10.1126/science.1155942
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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