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One hormone, 2 roles: Sugars differentiate seasonality and metabolism

Scientists at , and the 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.

[Mouse Measuring the Seasonal Time. (Mice on the Ancient Japanese Clock 'wadokei')]
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: , ITbM, Nagoya University


This article “Tissue-Specific Posttranslational Modification Allows Functional Targeting of Thyrotropin” by , Xiao-Hui Liao, , 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.

DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.006

Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM), Nagoya University