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Liver and Circadian Cycles

Liver & Onions

There are over 3000 switches that turn genes off or on in the liver on a daily basis.

Did you know that circadian rhythms affect our bodies not just on a global scale, but at the level of individual organs, and even genes? UVA has found two different cycles, with he newest one based on genes that are active in the liver.  These genes are responsive to nutrient intake rather than being light-based like the ones in the brain.

Since the liver is involved in metabolism of cholesterol and fat, this finding may help isolate the switches or combination of swiches that contribute to this processing.

This article states: they discovered that among those switches was chromatin, the protein complex that tightly packages DNA in the cell nucleus. While chromatin is well known for the role it plays in controlling genes, it was not previously suspected of being affected by circadian cycles.

So it is through circadian effect on chromatin that some epigenetic control might be occuring.  Histonic.  No that’s not a misspelling. Histones have been found to be responsible for genetic epression.  We just didn’t know it was based on circadian rhythms!

On that note I’m planning on changing my sleep schedule and go to bed now… before midnight!

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Categories: Genetics, Liver, Organ, Sleep

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