Send to

Choose Destination
Science. 2019 Feb 1;363(6426):509-515. doi: 10.1126/science.aat1650.

A sleep-inducing gene, nemuri, links sleep and immune function in Drosophila.

Author information

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chronobiology Program, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Sleep remains a major mystery of biology. In particular, little is known about the mechanisms that account for the drive to sleep. In an unbiased screen of more than 12,000 Drosophila lines, we identified a single gene, nemuri, that induces sleep. The NEMURI protein is an antimicrobial peptide that can be secreted ectopically to drive prolonged sleep (with resistance to arousal) and to promote survival after infection. Loss of nemuri increased arousability during daily sleep and attenuated the acute increase in sleep induced by sleep deprivation or bacterial infection. Conditions that increase sleep drive induced expression of nemuri in a small number of fly brain neurons and targeted it to the sleep-promoting, dorsal fan-shaped body. We propose that NEMURI is a bona fide sleep homeostasis factor that is particularly important under conditions of high sleep need; because these conditions include sickness, our findings provide a link between sleep and immune function.

[Available on 2020-02-01]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center