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The HCRT gene codes at 17q21 for the 161 aminoacid proneuropeptide orexin (hypocretin). There is a strong association between detectable products of this gene's expression and narcolepsy. An HCRT mutation impairing peptide trafficking and processing has been described in early-onset narcolepsy[1].

The two hypocretin peptides orexin-1 and orexin-2 produced by processing of orexin in hypothalamic neurons have a key role in:

  • Regulating sleep
  • Regulating appetite

Neurotransmitter release is detected by either orexin receptor type 1 coded at 1p33 or orexin receptor type 2 coded at 6p11-q11.


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