ER proteostasis regulators cell-non-autonomously control sleep

Cell Rep. 2023 Mar 28;42(3):112267. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112267. Epub 2023 Mar 15.


Sleep is regulated by peripheral tissues under fatigue. The molecular pathways in peripheral cells that trigger systemic sleep-related signals, however, are unclear. Here, a forward genetic screen in C. elegans identifies 3 genes that strongly affect sleep amount: sel-1, sel-11, and mars-1. sel-1 and sel-11 encode endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation components, whereas mars-1 encodes methionyl-tRNA synthetase. We find that these machineries function in non-neuronal tissues and that the ER unfolded protein response components inositol-requiring enzyme 1 (IRE1)/XBP1 and protein kinase R-like ER kinase (PERK)/eukaryotic initiation factor-2α (eIF2α)/activating transcription factor-4 (ATF4) participate in non-neuronal sleep regulation, partly by reducing global translation. Neuronal epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling is also required. Mouse studies suggest that this mechanism is conserved in mammals. Considering that prolonged wakefulness increases ER proteostasis stress in peripheral tissues, our results suggest that peripheral ER proteostasis factors control sleep homeostasis. Moreover, based on our results, peripheral tissues likely cope with ER stress not only by the well-established cell-autonomous mechanisms but also by promoting the individual's sleep.

Keywords: C. elegans; CP: Cell biology; CP: Neuroscience; EGFR; cell non-autonomous; endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation; proteostasis; sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activating Transcription Factor 4 / genetics
  • Activating Transcription Factor 4 / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans* / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans* / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress / physiology
  • Mammals / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Proteostasis*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Unfolded Protein Response
  • eIF-2 Kinase / genetics
  • eIF-2 Kinase / metabolism


  • eIF-2 Kinase
  • Activating Transcription Factor 4