bims-ciryme Biomed News
on Circadian rhythms and metabolism
Issue of 2022‒09‒25
two papers selected by
Gabriela Da Silva Xavier
University of Birmingham

  1. PLoS Genet. 2022 Sep;18(9): e1010356
      Rare variants in ten genes have been reported to cause Mendelian sleep conditions characterised by extreme sleep duration or timing. These include familial natural short sleep (ADRB1, DEC2/BHLHE41, GRM1 and NPSR1), advanced sleep phase (PER2, PER3, CRY2, CSNK1D and TIMELESS) and delayed sleep phase (CRY1). The association of variants in these genes with extreme sleep conditions were usually based on clinically ascertained families, and their effects when identified in the population are unknown. We aimed to determine the effects of these variants on sleep traits in large population-based cohorts. We performed genetic association analysis of variants previously reported to be causal for Mendelian sleep and circadian conditions. Analyses were performed using 191,929 individuals with data on sleep and whole-exome or genome-sequence data from 4 population-based studies: UK Biobank, FINRISK, Health-2000-2001, and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). We identified sleep disorders from self-report, hospital and primary care data. We estimated sleep duration and timing measures from self-report and accelerometery data. We identified carriers for 10 out of 12 previously reported pathogenic variants for 8 of the 10 genes. They ranged in frequency from 1 individual with the variant in CSNK1D to 1,574 individuals with a reported variant in the PER3 gene in the UK Biobank. No carriers for variants reported in NPSR1 or PER2 were identified. We found no association between variants analyzed and extreme sleep or circadian phenotypes. Using sleep timing as a proxy measure for sleep phase, only PER3 and CRY1 variants demonstrated association with earlier and later sleep timing, respectively; however, the magnitude of effect was smaller than previously reported (sleep midpoint ~7 mins earlier and ~5 mins later, respectively). We also performed burden tests of protein truncating (PTVs) or rare missense variants for the 10 genes. Only PTVs in PER2 and PER3 were associated with a relevant trait (for example, 64 individuals with a PTV in PER2 had an odds ratio of 4.4 for being "definitely a morning person", P = 4x10-8; and had a 57-minute earlier midpoint sleep, P = 5x10-7). Our results indicate that previously reported variants for Mendelian sleep and circadian conditions are often not highly penetrant when ascertained incidentally from the general population.
  2. Lancet. 2022 Sep 14. pii: S0140-6736(22)00877-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      The daily alternation between sleep and wakefulness is one of the most dominant features of our lives and is a manifestation of the intrinsic 24 h rhythmicity underlying almost every aspect of our physiology. Circadian rhythms are generated by networks of molecular oscillators in the brain and peripheral tissues that interact with environmental and behavioural cycles to promote the occurrence of sleep during the environmental night. This alignment is often disturbed, however, by contemporary changes to our living environments, work or social schedules, patterns of light exposure, and biological factors, with consequences not only for sleep timing but also for our physical and mental health. Characterised by undesirable or irregular timing of sleep and wakefulness, in this Series paper we critically examine the existing categories of circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders and the role of the circadian system in their development. We emphasise how not all disruption to daily rhythms is driven solely by an underlying circadian disturbance, and take a broader, dimensional approach to explore how circadian rhythms and sleep homoeostasis interact with behavioural and environmental factors. Very few high-quality epidemiological and intervention studies exist, and wider recognition and treatment of sleep timing disorders are currently hindered by a scarcity of accessible and objective tools for quantifying sleep and circadian physiology and environmental variables. We therefore assess emerging wearable technology, transcriptomics, and mathematical modelling approaches that promise to accelerate the integration of our knowledge in sleep and circadian science into improved human health.