New Connection Between Circadian Rhythm And Cancer Progression


Written by Kelsey on June 10, 2015. Posted in Blog

Circadian Rhythm

Scientists have long known of a connection between the bodys circadian rhythm and gene movement and protein densities. A new study from researchers at University of California, Santa Cruz, focused on the connection between disrupting the circadian rhythm and the progression of cancer, has found a protein associated with cancer cells is able to suppress the circadian clock rather effectively, GEN News reports.

Carrie Partch, Ph.D., senior author on the study said, The clock is not always disrupted in cancer cells, but studies have shown that disrupting circadian rhythms in mice causes tumors to grow faster, and one of the things the clock does is set restrictions on when cells can divide.

Dr. Partchs study focused on the protein PASD1. She hoped that by examining this protein her team would be able to uncover its involvement in rhythm disruption and find the beginnings for developing new therapies.

Circadian rhythms are regulated through a feedback loop which is controlled by genes and the proteins they encode. PASD1 was found to be similar in structure to one of the proteins in the feedback loop and can interfere with the complex that turns off the protein-producing genes.

By understanding what makes the clock tick and how it is regulated, we may be able to identify points where we can intervene pharmacologically to treat disorders in which the clock is disrupted, Dr. Partch said.

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