Scientists at ITbM, Nagoya University and the University of Chicago have discovered the mechanism on how a single hormone manages to trigger two different functions, i.e. seasonal sensing and metabolism, without any cross activity.
In the ancient Japanese timekeeping system, the length of one hour varied with the seasons (i.e. 24 hours was divided into 6 hours of daylight and 6 hours of night-time. Daylight hours were longer in the summertime and shorter in the winter). Laboratory mice were believed to be non-seasonal animals for a long time. Ono et al. reported that mice transmit seasonal information from the pituitary gland to the hypothalamus by using thyrotropin.
Credit: Takashi Yoshimura, ITbM, Nagoya University
This article “Tissue-Specific Posttranslational Modification Allows Functional Targeting of Thyrotropin” by Keisuke Ikegami, Xiao-Hui Liao, Yuta Hoshino, Hiroko Ono, Wataru Ota, Yuka Ito, Taeko Nishiwaki-Ohkawa, Chihiro Sato, Ken Kitajima, Masayuki Iigo, Yasufumi Shigeyoshi, Masanobu Yamada, Yoshiharu Murata, Samuel Refetoff, Takashi Yoshimura is published online on October 30, 2014 in Cell Reports.