Nature Reviews Cancer 9, 886-896 (December 2009) | doi:10.1038/nrc2747

Metabolism and cancer: the circadian clock connection

Saurabh Sahar1 & Paolo Sassone-Corsi1  About the authors


Circadian rhythms govern a remarkable variety of metabolic and physiological functions. Accumulating epidemiological and genetic evidence indicates that the disruption of circadian rhythms might be directly linked to cancer. Intriguingly, several molecular gears constituting the clock machinery have been found to establish functional interplays with regulators of the cell cycle, and alterations in clock function could lead to aberrant cellular proliferation. In addition, connections between the circadian clock and cellular metabolism have been identified that are regulated by chromatin remodelling. This suggests that abnormal metabolism in cancer could also be a consequence of a disrupted circadian clock. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of the molecular links that connect the circadian clock to the cell cycle and metabolism could provide therapeutic benefit against certain human neoplasias.

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California, Irvine 92697, Irvine, California, USA.

Correspondence to: Paolo Sassone-Corsi1 Email:


These links to content published by NPG are automatically generated.


The intelligent clock and the Rube Goldberg clock

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology News and Views (01 Jan 2008)

Timing the cell cycle

Nature Cell Biology News and Views (01 Oct 2003)

See all 5 matches for News And Views