Research press release


Nature Communications

Genetics: A good morning starts from the genes



今回、David Hindsたちは、89,283人を対象とした全ゲノム関連解析(GWAS)を行った。被験者は、インターネット調査において、朝型生活と夜型生活のいずれが好みなのかを自己申告した。その結果、健常者の朝型生活の好みに関連する遺伝的変異が同定され、その一部が、概日リズムを制御することが知られている遺伝子の近くに位置していることが明らかになった。また、光感知を制御する遺伝子の近くに位置する遺伝的変異も同定され、それも朝型生活の好みと関連していることが判明した。


Genetic variations that are associated with a person’s preference for the morning as opposed to the evening are identified in a new paper published in Nature Communications. The study defines people with a preference for the morning as those who choose to rise and rest early, whereas people with a preference for the evening choose a cycle later in the day.

Circadian rhythms, which follow a 24-hour cycle, affect many biological processes including a person’s natural preference for the morning or the evening. Several genes whose products regulate circadian rhythm are already known, but it was previously unclear whether these were linked to personal preference for the morning.

David Hinds and colleagues perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 89,283 individuals. The individuals reported a preference for the morning or the evening in a web survey. The authors identify specific genetic variations associated with healthy individuals’ preference for the morning, and show that some of the identified genetic variations are located near genes that are known to regulate circadian rhythm. They also find genetic variations near genes that control light-sensing and show that they are associated with preference for the morning.

Although the study also shows that sleep disorders and higher body mass index often accompany a self-reported preference for the morning, no evidence for a causal relationship was found. The authors propose that identification of these genetic variations will aid future research into circadian rhythms and into sleep and related disorders.

doi: 10.1038/ncomms10448

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