Enzyme that produces melatonin originated 500 million years ago, NIH study shows

Origins of “timezyme” have implications for understanding sleep, retina disorders

An international team of scientists led by National Institutes of Health researchers has traced the likely origin of the enzyme needed to manufacture the hormone melatonin to roughly 500 million years ago. Their work indicates that this crucial enzyme, which plays an essential role in regulating the body’s internal clock, likely began its role in timekeeping when vertebrates (animals with spinal columns) diverged from their nonvertebrate ancestors.

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This page was last updated on Friday, January 21, 2022