Gene Summary

Gene:PER2; period circadian clock 2
Aliases: FASPS, FASPS1
Summary:This gene is a member of the Period family of genes and is expressed in a circadian pattern in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the primary circadian pacemaker in the mammalian brain. Genes in this family encode components of the circadian rhythms of locomotor activity, metabolism, and behavior. This gene is upregulated by CLOCK/ARNTL heterodimers but then represses this upregulation in a feedback loop using PER/CRY heterodimers to interact with CLOCK/ARNTL. Polymorphisms in this gene may increase the risk of getting certain cancers and have been linked to sleep disorders. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2014]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:period circadian protein homolog 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Flavoproteins
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • beta Catenin
  • Up-Regulation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Cycle
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • DNA Methylation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Down-Regulation
  • Messenger RNA
  • Promoter Regions
  • Transfection
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Circadian Clocks
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Melatonin
  • Period Circadian Proteins
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Apoptosis
  • Young Adult
  • Risk Factors
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Gene Expression
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • ARNTL Transcription Factors
  • RB1
  • AKT1
  • Transcription
  • Tumor Markers
  • Chromosome 2
  • Cryptochromes
  • Telomere
  • Transcription Factors
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: PER2 (cancer-related)

Wang F, Luo Y, Li C, Chen L
Correlation between deregulated expression of PER2 gene and degree of glioma malignancy.
Tumori. 2014 Nov-Dec; 100(6):e266-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS AND BACKGROUND: Growing evidence indicates that disruption of circadian rhythms may be a risk factor for the development of glioma. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic regulation of circadian rhythms in glioma cells have yet to be explored.
METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: Using immunohistochemical staining and methylation-specific PCR techniques, we examined the expression of the period 2 (PER2) gene, one of the most important clock genes, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in 92 gliomas.
RESULTS: Our results revealed disturbances in the expression of PER2 in most (52.17%) glioma cells compared with the expression in nearby noncancerous cells, and indicated that PER2 gene deregulation most likely occurs via methylation of PER2 promoters. The protein expression of PCNA and EGFR was significantly higher in high-grade than low-grade gliomas (P < 0.05). Furthermore, a negative correlation was detected between the protein expression of PER2 and PCNA and EGFR in glioma.
CONCLUSIONS: Because the circadian clock regulates the expression of cell cycle-related genes, we suggest that disturbances in PER2 gene expression may disrupt the regulation of the circadian clock, thus enhancing the survival of cancer cells and promoting carcinogenesis.

Hu ML, Yeh KT, Lin PM, et al.
Deregulated expression of circadian clock genes in gastric cancer.
BMC Gastroenterol. 2014; 14:67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer (GC), an aggressive malignant tumor of the alimentary tract, is a leading cause of cancer-related death. Circadian rhythm exhibits a 24-hour variation in physiological processes and behavior, such as hormone levels, metabolism, gene expression, sleep and wakefulness, and appetite. Disruption of circadian rhythm has been associated with various cancers, including chronic myeloid leukemia, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, endometrial carcinoma, and breast cancer. However, the expression of circadian clock genes in GC remains unexplored.
METHODS: In this study, the expression profiles of eight circadian clock genes (PER1, PER2, PER3, CRY1, CRY2, CKIϵ, CLOCK, and BMAL1) of cancerous and noncancerous tissues from 29 GC patients were investigated using real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and validated through immunohistochemical analysis.
RESULTS: We found that PER2 was significantly up-regulated in cancer tissues (p < 0.005). Up-regulated CRY1 expression was significantly correlated with more advanced stages (stage III and IV) (p < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest deregulated expressions of circadian clock genes exist in GC and circadian rhythm disturbance may be associated with the development of GC.

Karantanos T, Theodoropoulos G, Pektasides D, Gazouli M
Clock genes: their role in colorectal cancer.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014; 20(8):1986-92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clock genes create a complicated molecular time-keeping system consisting of multiple positive and negative feedback loops at transcriptional and translational levels. This circadian system coordinates and regulates multiple cellular procedures implicated in cancer development such as metabolism, cell cycle and DNA damage response. Recent data support that molecules such as CLOCK1, BMAL1 and PER and CRY proteins have various effects on c-Myc/p21 and Wnt/β-catenin pathways and influence multiple steps of DNA damage response playing a critical role in the preservation of genomic integrity in normal and cancer cells. Notably, all these events have already been related to the development and progression of colorectal cancer (CRC). Recent data highlight critical correlations between clock genes' expression and pathogenesis, progression, aggressiveness and prognosis of CRC. Increased expression of positive regulators of this circadian system such as BMAL1 has been related to decrease overall survival while decreased expression of negative regulators such as PER2 and PER3 is connected with poorer differentiation, increased aggressiveness and worse prognosis. The implications of these molecules in DNA repair systems explain their involvement in the development of CRC but at the same time provide us with novel targets for modern therapeutic approaches for patients with advanced CRC.

Zhao H, Zeng ZL, Yang J, et al.
Prognostic relevance of Period1 (Per1) and Period2 (Per2) expression in human gastric cancer.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2014; 7(2):619-30 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Period1 (Per1) and Period2 (Per2) are members of the circadian genes. Mounting evidence suggests that the deregulation of the circadian clock plays an important role in the development of mammalian cancer. However, the expression and clinical significance of Per1 and Per2 in gastric cancer is still unexplored. Here, we evaluated the expression pattern of Per1 and Per2 in 246 gastric cancer specimens and their adjacent, non-tumorous tissues using immunohistochemical assays. Per1 expression was significantly associated with clinical stage (p < 0.001), depth invasion (p < 0.001), lymph node metastasis (p < 0.001) and pathologic differentiation (p < 0.001). On the other hand, Per2 was associated with clinical stage (p = 0.021) and depth invasion (p = 0.007). Per1 expression was positively correlated with Per2 expression in the 246 gastric cancer patients (r = 0.378, p < 0.001), and the expression levels of Per1 and Per2 were down-regulated in gastric cancer tissues when compared with adjacent, non-tumorous tissues in 45 gastric cancer samples (p < 0.001, p = 0.003). Patients with lower Per1 and Per2 tumor expression had a shorter survival time than those with higher expression. Univariate and Multivariate analyses indicated that Per2 expression is an independent prognostic factor (p = 0.023). Our results demonstrate that Per1 and Per2 may play important roles in tumor development, invasion and prognosis, and Per2 may serve as a novel prognostic biomarker of human gastric cancer.

Rana S, Munawar M, Shahid A, et al.
Deregulated expression of circadian clock and clock-controlled cell cycle genes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Mol Biol Rep. 2014; 41(1):95-103 [PubMed] Related Publications
Circadian rhythms are endogenous and self-sustained oscillations of multiple biological processes with approximately 24-h rhythmicity. Circadian genes and their protein products constitute the molecular components of the circadian oscillator that form positive/negative feedback loops and generate circadian rhythms. The circadian regulation extends from core clock genes to various clock-controlled genes that include various cell cycle genes. Aberrant expression of circadian clock genes, therefore, may lead to genomic instability and accelerated cellular proliferation potentially promoting carcinogenesis. The current study encompasses the investigation of simultaneous expression of four circadian clock genes (Bmal1, Clock, Per1 and Per2) and three clock-controlled cell cycle genes (Myc, Cyclin D1 and Wee1) at mRNA level and determination of serum melatonin levels in peripheral blood samples of 37 CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) patients and equal number of age- and sex-matched healthy controls in order to indicate association between deregulated circadian clock and manifestation of CLL. Results showed significantly down-regulated expression of Bmal1, Per1, Per2 and Wee1 and significantly up-regulated expression of Myc and Cyclin D1 (P < 0.0001) in CLL patients as compared to healthy controls. When expression of these genes was compared between shift-workers and non-shift-workers within the CLL group, the expression was found more aberrant in shift-workers as compared to non-shift-workers. However, this difference was found statistically significant for Myc and Cyclin D1 only (P < 0.05). Serum melatonin levels were found significantly low (P < 0.0001) in CLL subjects as compared to healthy controls whereas melatonin levels were found still lower in shift-workers as compared to non-shift-workers within CLL group (P < 0.01). Our results suggest that aberrant expression of circadian clock genes can lead to aberrant expression of their downstream targets that are involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis and hence may result in manifestation of CLL. Moreover, shift-work and low melatonin levels may also contribute in etiology of CLL by further perturbing of circadian clock.

Zhuang L, Qi Y, Wu Y, et al.
The use of multidimensional data to identify the molecular biomarker for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013:798054 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a lethal disease, and the patient has an extremely poor overall survival with a less than 5% 5-year survival rate. Development of potential biomarkers provides a critical foundation for the diagnosis of PDAC. In this project, we have adopted an integrative approach to simultaneously identify biomarker and generate testable hypothesis from multidimensional omics data. We first examine genes for which expression levels are correlated with survival data. The gene list was screened with TF regulation, predicted miRNA targets information, and KEGG pathways. We identified that 273 candidate genes are correlated with patient survival data. 12 TF regulation gene sets, 11 miRNAs targets gene sets, and 15 KEGG pathways are enriched with these survival genes. Notably, CEBPA/miRNA32/PER2 signaling to the clock rhythm qualifies this pathway as a suitable target for therapeutic intervention in PDAC. PER2 expression was highly associated with survival data, thus representing a novel biomarker for earlier detection of PDAC.

Kelleher FC, Rao A, Maguire A
Circadian molecular clocks and cancer.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 342(1):9-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
Physiological processes such as the sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and hormone secretion are controlled by a circadian rhythm adapted to 24h day-night periodicity. This circadian synchronisation is in part controlled by ambient light decreasing melatonin secretion by the pineal gland and co-ordinated by the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. Peripheral cell autonomous circadian clocks controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the master regulator, exist within every cell of the body and are comprised of at least twelve genes. These include the basic helix-loop-helix/PAS domain containing transcription factors; Clock, BMal1 and Npas2 which activate transcription of the periodic genes (Per1 and Per2) and cryptochrome genes (Cry1 and Cry2). Points of coupling exist between the cellular clock and the cell cycle. Cell cycle genes which are affected by the molecular circadian clock include c-Myc, Wee1, cyclin D and p21. Therefore the rhythm of the circadian clock and cancer are interlinked. Molecular examples exist including activation of Per2 leads to c-myc overexpression and an increased tumor incidence. Mice with mutations in Cryptochrome 1 and 2 are arrhythmic (lack a circadian rhythm) and arrhythmic mice have a faster rate of growth of implanted tumors. Epidemiological finding of relevance include 'The Nurses' Health Study' where it was established that women working rotational night shifts have an increased incidence of breast cancer. Compounds that affect circadian rhythm exist with attendant future therapeutic possibilities. These include casein kinase I inhibitors and a candidate small molecule KL001 that affects the degradation of cryptochrome. Theoretically the cell cycle and malignant disease may be targeted vicariously by selective alteration of the cellular molecular clock.

Štorcelová M, Vicián M, Reis R, et al.
Expression of cell cycle regulatory factors hus1, gadd45a, rb1, cdkn2a and mre11a correlates with expression of clock gene per2 in human colorectal carcinoma tissue.
Mol Biol Rep. 2013; 40(11):6351-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deregulated expression of clock gene per2 has previously been associated with progression of cancer. The aim of the present study was to identify genes related to per2 expression and involved in cell cycle control. Patients surgically treated for colorectal carcinoma with up-regulated and down-regulated per2 expression in cancer versus adjacent tissue were studied. Total RNA from cancer tissue of these patients was used to specify genes associated with altered per2 expression using the Human Cell Cycle RT(2) profiler PCR array system. We identified seven genes positively correlated (hus1, gadd45α, rb1, cdkn2a, cdk5rp1, mre11a, sumo1) and two genes negatively correlated (cdc20, birc5) with per2 expression. Expression of these seven genes was subsequently measured by real time PCR in all patients of the cohort. Patients were divided into three groups according to TNM classification. We observed an increase in gene expression in cancer tissue compared to adjacent tissue in the first group of patients in all genes measured. Expression of genes positively associated with per2 gene expression was dependent on tumor staging and changes were observed preferentially in cancer tissue. For genes negatively associated with per2 expression we also detected changes in expression dependent on tumor staging. Expression of cdc20 and birc5 was increasing in the proximal tissue and decreasing in the cancer tissue. These results implicate functional involvement of per2 in the process of carcinogenesis via newly uncovered genes. The relevancy of gene expression for determination of diagnosis and prognosis should be considered in relation to tumor staging.

Karantanos T, Theodoropoulos G, Gazouli M, et al.
Association of the clock genes polymorphisms with colorectal cancer susceptibility.
J Surg Oncol. 2013; 108(8):563-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The circadian rhythm regulates the cell cycle progression and DNA damage response. The aim of our study was to investigate the association between polymorphisms in the CLOCK1, PER2, and PER3 genes with the colorectal cancer (CRC) susceptibility and clinicopathological variables.
METHODS: Four hundred two CRC patients and 480 healthy controls were included in a case-control study. Genotype and allelic frequencies of 311T>C (rs1801260) in CLOCK1 gene, G3853A (rs934945) in PER2 gene and 4/5 repeats polymorphisms in PER3 gene were evaluated by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) restriction fragment length polymorphism method in the DNA extracted from the peripheral blood of patients and controls.
RESULTS: The frequencies of the 311T>C CLOCK1 gene, CC genotype and C allele were significantly higher among CRC patients compared to controls (P < 0.0001) elevating the CRC risk by 2.78- and 1.78-fold respectively. No correlation was found between G3853A and 4/5 repeats polymorphisms and CRC risk. The C/G/5 and C/G/4 repeats haplotypes were higher in CRC patients (P = 0.0009 and P = 0.038) elevating the CRC risk by 60% and 89% respectively. No correlation was found between any polymorphism and clinicopathological characteristics of CRC patients.
CONCLUSION: The 311T>C polymorphism in the CLOCK1 gene significantly increases the risk for CRC development while it does not affect the outcome of CRC patients.

Mannic T, Meyer P, Triponez F, et al.
Circadian clock characteristics are altered in human thyroid malignant nodules.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; 98(11):4446-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: The circadian clock represents the body's molecular time-keeping system. Recent findings revealed strong changes of clock gene expression in various types of human cancers.
OBJECTIVE: Due to emerging evidence on the connection between the circadian oscillator, cell cycle, and oncogenic transformation, we aimed to characterize the circadian clockwork in human benign and malignant thyroid nodules.
DESIGN: Clock transcript levels were assessed by quantitative RT-PCR in thyroid tissues. To provide molecular characteristics of human thyroid clockwork, primary thyrocytes established from normal or nodular thyroid tissue biopsies were subjected to in vitro synchronization with subsequent clock gene expression analysis by circadian bioluminescence reporter assay and by quantitative RT-PCR.
RESULTS: The expression levels of the Bmal1 were up-regulated in tissue samples of follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC), and in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), as compared with normal thyroid and benign nodules, whereas Cry2 was down-regulated in FTC and PTC. Human thyrocytes derived from normal thyroid tissue exhibited high-amplitude circadian oscillations of Bmal1-luciferase reporter expression and endogenous clock transcripts. Thyrocytes established from FTC and PTC exhibited clock transcript oscillations similar to those of normal thyroid tissue and benign nodules (except for Per2 altered in PTC), whereas cells derived from poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma exhibited altered circadian oscillations.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study demonstrating a molecular makeup of the human thyroid circadian clock. Characterization of the thyroid clock machinery alterations upon thyroid nodule malignant transformation contributes to understanding the connections between circadian clocks and oncogenic transformation. Moreover, it might help in improving the thyroid nodule preoperative diagnostics.

Hwang-Verslues WW, Chang PH, Jeng YM, et al.
Loss of corepressor PER2 under hypoxia up-regulates OCT1-mediated EMT gene expression and enhances tumor malignancy.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(30):12331-6 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The circadian clock gene Period2 (PER2) has been suggested to be a tumor suppressor. However, detailed mechanistic evidence has not been provided to support this hypothesis. We found that loss of PER2 enhanced invasion and activated expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) genes including TWIST1, SLUG, and SNAIL. This finding was corroborated by clinical observation that PER2 down-regulation was associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer patients. We further demonstrated that PER2 served as a transcriptional corepressor, which recruited polycomb proteins EZH2 and SUZ12 as well as HDAC2 to octamer transcription factor 1 (OCT1) (POU2F1) binding sites of the TWIST1 and SLUG promoters to repress expression of these EMT genes. Hypoxia, a condition commonly observed in tumors, caused PER2 degradation and disrupted the PER2 repressor complex, leading to activation of EMT gene expression. This result was further supported by clinical data showing a significant negative correlation between hypoxia and PER2. Thus, our findings clearly demonstrate the tumor suppression function of PER2 and elucidate a pathway by which hypoxia promotes EMT via degradation of PER2.

Kim SH, Yu HS, Park HG, et al.
Egr1 regulates lithium-induced transcription of the Period 2 (PER2) gene.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013; 1832(12):1969-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
A growing body of evidence suggests that the circadian molecular system is involved in the pathogenic and therapeutic mechanisms underlying bipolar disorders. Lithium, a representative mood stabilizer, has been reported to induce the Period 2 (PER2) gene; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms require further study. We found that lithium upregulated PER2 expression at the transcriptional level in neuronally differentiated SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Promoter reporter analyses using serial deletions of the PER2 promoter revealed that two early growth response 1 (Egr1)-binding sites (EBS) between positions -180 and -100 are required for maximal activation of the PER2 promoter by lithium. Ectopic expression of Egr1 enhanced lithium-induced PER2 promoter activity, while a point mutation in EBS abolished it. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation indicated that Egr1 bound directly to the PER2 promoter. Stimulation of the extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK)1/2/Elk1 pathway by lithium was functionally linked to PER2 expression through Egr1 induction, and lithium-induced PER2 expression was strongly attenuated by depletion of Egr1 by siRNA. Lithium also upregulated the expression of Per2 and Egr1 in mouse frontal cortex. Induction of Per2 by lithium was attenuated in Egr1(-/-) mice. In conclusion, lithium stimulates PER2 transcription through the ERK/Elk1/Egr1 pathway in neuronal cells, indicating a connection between the ERK-Egr1 pathway and a circadian gene system in the mechanism of action of lithium.

Relles D, Sendecki J, Chipitsyna G, et al.
Circadian gene expression and clinicopathologic correlates in pancreatic cancer.
J Gastrointest Surg. 2013; 17(3):443-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The circadian rhythm is responsible for physiologic homeostasis, behavior, and components of multiple metabolic processes. Disruption of the circadian rhythm is associated with cancer development, and several circadian clock genes have been implicated in loss of cell cycle control, impaired DNA damage repair, and subsequent tumor formation. Here, we investigated the expression profiles of several circadian clock genes in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA).
METHODS: Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to examine the circadian clock genes (brain-muscle-like (Bmal)-ARNTL, circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (Clock), cryptochrome 1 (Cry1), cryptochrome 2 (Cry2), casein kinase 1ε (CK1ε), period 1 (Per1), period 2 (Per2), period 3 (Per3), timeless (Tim), and timeless-interacting protein (Tipin)) in PDA, as well as matching adjacent and benign tissue. Logistic regression models with robust variance were used to analyze the gene expression levels, and Kaplan-Meier survival curves were generated based on gene expression.
RESULTS: In the tumor tissue of PDA patients, compared to their matched adjacent tissue, expression levels of all circadian genes were lower, with statistical significance for Per1, Per2, Per3, Cry1, Cry2, Tipin, Tim, CK1ε, Bmal-ARNTL, and Clock (p < 0.025). PDA tumors also expressed significantly lower levels of the circadian genes when compared to benign lesions for Per1, Per2, Per3, Cry2, Tipin, and CK1ε. A significant association between low levels of expression in the tumors and reduced survival was found with Per1, Per2, Per3, Cry2, Tipin, CK1ε, Clock, and Bmal-ARNTL.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results reveal for the first time a dysregulated transcription of several circadian genes in PDA. Elevation of the gene levels in the benign and matched adjacent tissues may be indicative of their role during the process of tumorigenesis. The potential of using circadian genes as predictive markers of the outcomes and survival and distinguishing PDA from benign pancreas must be studied in larger populations to validate and demonstrate their eventual clinical utility.

Lengyel Z, Lovig C, Kommedal S, et al.
Altered expression patterns of clock gene mRNAs and clock proteins in human skin tumors.
Tumour Biol. 2013; 34(2):811-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The majority of our genes may be regulated in a daily rhythm, including the genes for cell cycle control. Epidemiological and genetic evidences suggest that disruption of circadian timing mechanisms makes our cells more vulnerable to cancer formation. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between expression patterns of circadian clock genes (period homolog (per)1, per2, clock, and cry1) and tumor development by analyzing human skin biopsies of malignant melanoma and nonmalignant naevus tumors. We found that mRNA levels and nuclear immunopositivity for the investigated clock genes were reduced by 30-60 % in both melanoma and in naevus biopsies if compared with adjacent nontumorous samples. The alterations in melanoma presented significant associations with clinicopathological characteristics (e.g., Breslow thickness). Contrary to previous reports, the moderate decrease of per1 expression seen in malignant tissues could not be linked to malignant transformation itself; rather, it reflects only the alterations in tissue composition. In turn, clock expression was upregulated in nontumorous cells of melanoma biopsies but not in melanoma cells or naevus cells. As this gene (clock) is closely related to cellular metabolism, our data suggest its role in the impaired regulation of metabolism in malignant tumors. Our results present the first clinical evidence for a possible link between circadian clock genes and human skin tumorigenesis.

Yang X, He X, Yang Z, Jabbari E
Mammalian PER2 regulates AKT activation and DNA damage response.
Biochem Cell Biol. 2012; 90(6):675-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
PER2 is a key mammalian circadian clock protein. It also has a tumor suppressive function. Down regulation of PER2 in the cultured cancer cells accelerates cell proliferation, while overexpression of PER2 inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis. The Per2 mutant mice have a cancer prone phenotype and an altered DNA damage response. Here we report that PER2 regulates AKT activity. Cells with down-regulated PER2 expression have prolonged high levels of AKT T308 phosphorylation after growth factor stimulation or DNA damage. PER2 down-regulation delays DNA damage induced Chk2 activation and overrides DNA damage induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest.

Zhao B, Lu J, Yin J, et al.
A functional polymorphism in PER3 gene is associated with prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Liver Int. 2012; 32(9):1451-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have revealed that circadian genes play important roles in cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle control, DNA damage response and treatment response of chemotherapy agents in cancers.
AIMS: We hypothesized that the polymorphisms in circadian genes may be associated with prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolization (TACE).
METHODS: Twelve functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in circadian negative feedback regulation genes (including CRY1, CRY2, PER1, PER2 and PER3) were genotyped using Sequenom iPLEX genotyping method in 337 HCC patients treated with TACE and analysed for associations with overall survival.
RESULTS: Our data showed that one SNP rs2640908 in PER3 gene was significantly associated with overall survival of HCC patients (P = 0.027). Patients carrying at least one variant allele of rs2640908 (WV + VV) had a significantly decreased risk of death (hazard ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.53-0.90), when compared with those carrying homozygous wild-type alleles (WW). Kaplan-Meier analyses showed a significantly longer median survival time in patients with WV + VV genotypes of SNP rs2640908 than those with WW genotype (11.6 months vs. 8.1 months; log rank P = 0.030). In addition, we also observed a significant difference on the genotype distribution of SNP rs2640908 in patients with and without portal vein thrombus (P = 0.041).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides the first evidence that a single functional polymorphism of PER3 gene is significantly associated with overall survival in HCC patients treated with TACE.

Mazzoccoli G, Piepoli A, Carella M, et al.
Altered expression of the clock gene machinery in kidney cancer patients.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2012; 66(3):175-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND AIM: Kidney cancer is associated with alteration in the pathways regulated by von Hippel-Lindau protein and hypoxia inducible factor α. Tight interrelationships have been evidenced between hypoxia response pathways and circadian pathways. The dysregulation of the circadian clock circuitry is involved in carcinogenesis. The aim of our study was to evaluate the clock gene machinery in kidney cancer.
METHODS: mRNA expression levels of the clock genes ARNTL1, ARNTL2, CLOCK, PER1, PER2, PER3, CRY1, CRY2, TIMELESS, TIPIN and CSNK1E and of the clock controlled gene SERPINE1 were evaluated by DNA microarray assays and by qRT-PCR in primary tumor and matched nontumorous tissue collected from a cohort of 11 consecutive kidney cancer patients.
RESULTS: In kidney tumor tissue, we found down-regulation of PER2 (median=0.658, Q1-Q3=0.562-0.744, P<0.01), TIMELESS (median=0.705, Q1-Q3=0.299-1.330, P=0.04) and TIPIN (median=0.556, Q1-Q3=0.385-1.945, P=0.01), up-regulation of SERPINE1 (median=1.628, Q1-Q3=0.339-4.071, P=0.04), whereas the expression of ARNTL2 (median=0.605, Q1-Q3=0.318-1.738, P=0.74) and CSNK1E (median=0.927, Q1-Q3=0.612-2.321, P=0.33) did not differ. A statistically significant correlation was evidenced between mRNA levels of PER2 and CSNKIE (r=0.791, P<0.01), PER2 and TIPIN (r=0.729, P=0.01), PER2 and SERPINE1 (r=0.704, P=0.01), TIMELESS and TIPIN (r=0.605, P=0.04), TIMELESS and CSNKIE (r=0.637, P=0.03), TIPIN and CSNKIE (r=0.940, P<0.01).
CONCLUSION: In kidney cancer, the circadian clock circuitry is deregulated and the altered expression of the clock genes might be involved in disease onset and progression.

Thoennissen NH, Thoennissen GB, Abbassi S, et al.
Transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha and critical circadian clock downstream target gene PER2 are highly deregulated in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2012; 53(8):1577-85 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Disturbances of circadian rhythms and mammalian clock genes have been implicated in the etiologies of many chronic illnesses, including cancer. We show that transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha)-regulated PER2 activation is a potential tumor suppressor pathway in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), one of the commonest types of mature B-cell lymphoma. Expression analysis of human B-cell lymphoma samples including DLBCL (n = 50), mantle cell (n = 21), follicular (n = 25) and Burkitt (n = 18) lymphoma revealed markedly down-regulated CEBPA and PER2 mRNA levels exclusively in DLBCL samples compared to control lymphatic tissue. We demonstrated direct regulation of the circadian core clock gene PER2 by C/EBPalpha in the pro-B cell line Ba/F3, and forced expression of PER2 resulted in decreased proliferation, G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and increased rates of apoptosis. Interestingly, treatment of human DLBCL cell lines with the histone deacetylase-inhibitor suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) significantly increased the expression of C/EBPalpha and Per2, accompanied by cell growth inhibition; in contrast, siRNA knockdown of CEBPA reduced the anti-proliferative effect of SAHA treatment. Our results show for the first time that C/EBPalpha with its associated direct core clock gene target, PER2, are highly deregulated in DLBCL, suggesting an important tumor suppressive pathway in the pathogenesis of this lymphoma entity.

Wang Y, Hua L, Lu C, Chen Z
Expression of circadian clock gene human Period2 (hPer2) in human colorectal carcinoma.
World J Surg Oncol. 2011; 9:166 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent studies have shown that disruption of circadian rhythms is one of the tumor promoting factors which contribute to mammalian cancer development and progression, but very little is known about the molecular changes of circadian genes in colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Thus, in this study, changes in the expression of human Period2 (hPer2), one of the key circadian clock regulators, in CRC and its correlation with prognosis were investigated.
METHODS: Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining and real-time PCR for hPer2 were performed for 38 CRC cases.
RESULTS: IHC analysis detected positive staining for hPer2 in 81.6% (31/38) of CRC tissues and 97.4% (37/38) of surrounding non-cancerous tissues (P < 0.05). Most colorectal cells in non-cancerous tissues were homogeneously stained. In contrast, in the paired cancerous tissues, a heterogeneous pattern was found with a significant portion of cancer cells displaying negative or weak hPer2 staining. In over 60% cases (24/38), the staining for hPer2 was much stronger in non-cancerous cells than in the paired cancerous cells. Well-differentiated cancer cells are more likely to maintain hPer2 expression than poorly-differentiated ones. Furthermore, associations of decreased hPer2 levels with patients' age, histological grade, TNM stage and expression of nucleus proliferation related antigen: Ki67 were also detected (P < 0.05). Expression of hPer2 did not correlate with that of either p53 or C-erB-2. Similar to hPer2 protein expression, quantitative RT-PCR for hPer2 also showed decreased mRNA expression in CRC.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest a role for hPer2 in normal colorectal cell function and the potential deregulation of hPer2 expression in the development, invasion, and metastasis of CRC.

Pazienza V, Piepoli A, Panza A, et al.
SIRT1 and the clock gene machinery in colorectal cancer.
Cancer Invest. 2012; 30(2):98-105 [PubMed] Related Publications
SIRT1 and the clock genes are involved in carcinogenesis. We evaluated SIRT1 expression in 19 human colorectal cancer (CRC) specimens and clock gene expression in SIRT1-overexpressing CaCo2 and SW480 cells. In CRC, SIRT1 mean expression level was decreased. Compared to CaCo2 cells, SW480 cells displayed lower levels of SIRT1 and PER3 and higher levels of ARNTL1, CLOCK, PER1, PER2, CRY1, TIPIN, and CSNKIE. SIRT1 overexpression induced PER1 upregulation in CaCo2 and downregulation in SW480 cells. SIRT1 expression was heterogeneous in human CRC and in CRC cell lines. These results might have relevant implications for a better understanding of colorectal carcinogenesis.

Hsu CM, Lin SF, Lu CT, et al.
Altered expression of circadian clock genes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2012; 33(1):149-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) means a group of cancers developed from the upper aerodigestive tract, and 90% of them are squamous cell carcinomas. HNSCC is the tenth most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in males worldwide, but it is the seventh most common cause of cancer-related death. The circadian clock regulates daily rhythmic variations in various physiologic processes including sleep and activity, appetite, hormone levels, metabolism, and gene expression. Many recent studies have demonstrated that the disruption of circadian rhythm is associated with cancer development and tumor progression, such as chronic myeloid leukemia, hepatocellular carcinoma, endometrial carcinoma, and breast cancer. However the direct links between aberrant circadian clock gene expression and human malignancies, including HNSCC, remain largely unknown. In this study, the expression profiles of nine circadian clock genes of cancer tissue and noncancerous part from 40 patients of HNSCC were investigated. The expression of PER1, PER2, PER3, CRY1, CRY2, CKIε, and BMAL1 showed significant downregulation in the cancer tissues (p < 0.005). Downregulated PER3, CRY2, and BMAL1 expression was correlated with more advanced cancer stages (p < 0.05). Downregulated PER3 and upregulated TIM expression correlated with larger tumor size (p < 0.05), and lower expression of PER3 correlated with deeper tumor invasion (p < 0.05). Poor survival was related to lower expression of PER1 (p < 0.05) and PER3 (p < 0.01). These results indicate a possible association of circadian clock gene, especially PER3, expression with the pathogenesis of HNSCC.

Mazzoccoli G, Panza A, Valvano MR, et al.
Clock gene expression levels and relationship with clinical and pathological features in colorectal cancer patients.
Chronobiol Int. 2011; 28(10):841-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
The clock gene machinery controls cellular metabolism, proliferation, and key functions, such as DNA damage recognition and repair. Dysfunction of the circadian clock is involved in tumorigenesis, and altered expression of some clock genes has been found in cancer patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression levels of core clock genes in colorectal cancer (CRC). Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to examine ARNTL1, CLOCK, PER1, PER2, PER3, CRY1, CRY2, Timeless (TIM), TIPIN, and CSNK1? expression levels in the tumor tissue and matched apparently healthy mucosa of CRC patients. In the tumor tissue of CRC patients, compared to their matched healthy mucosa, expression levels of ARNTL1 (p=.002), PER1 (p=.002), PER2 (p=.011), PER3 (p=.003), and CRY2 (p=.012) were lower, whereas the expression level of TIM (p=.044) was higher. No significant difference was observed in the expression levels of CLOCK (p=.778), CRY1 (p=.600), CSNK1 (p=.903), and TIPIN (p=.136). As to the clinical and pathological features, a significant association was found between low CRY1 expression levels in tumor mucosa and age (p=.026), and female sex (p=.005), whereas high CRY1 expression levels in tumor mucosa were associated with cancer location in the distal colon (p?=?.015). Moreover, high TIM mRNA levels in the tumor mucosa were prevalent whenever proximal lymph nodes were involved (p= .013) and associated with TNM stages III-IV (p=.005) and microsatellite instability (p=.015). Significantly poorer survival rates were evidenced for CRC patients with lower expression in the tumor tissue of PER1 (p=.010), PER3 (p= .010), and CSNKIE (p=.024). In conclusion, abnormal expression levels of core clock genes in CRC tissue may be related to the process of tumorigenesis and exert an influence on host/tumor interactions.

Yang MY, Yang WC, Lin PM, et al.
Altered expression of circadian clock genes in human chronic myeloid leukemia.
J Biol Rhythms. 2011; 26(2):136-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
Circadian clock genes use transcriptional-translational feedback loops to control circadian rhythms. Recent studies have demonstrated that expression of some circadian clock genes displays daily oscillation in peripheral tissues including peripheral blood and bone marrow. Circadian rhythms regulate various functions of human body, and the disruption of circadian rhythm has been associated with cancer development and tumor progression. However, the direct links between aberrant circadian clock gene expression and human disorders remain largely unknown. In this study, comparisons were made between the expression profiles of 9 circadian clock genes from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) from 18 healthy volunteers. Peripheral blood (PB) total leukocytes from 54 healthy volunteers and 95 patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) were also investigated. Similar expression profiles of all 9 circadian clock genes were observed in PBMCs and PMNs of healthy individuals. In PB total leukocytes of healthy individuals, the daily pattern of PER1, PER2, PER3, CRY1, CRY2, and CKIε expression level peaked at 0800 h, and BMAL1 peaked at 2000 h. Daily pattern expression of these 7 genes was disrupted in newly diagnosed pre-imatinib mesylate-treated and blast crisis-phase patients with CML. Partial daily pattern gene expression recoveries were observed in patients with CML with complete cytogenetic response and major molecular response. The expression of CLOCK and TIM did not show a time-dependent variation among the healthy and patients with CML. These results indicate a possible association of the disrupted daily patterns of circadian clock gene expression with the pathogenesis of CML.

Oshima T, Takenoshita S, Akaike M, et al.
Expression of circadian genes correlates with liver metastasis and outcomes in colorectal cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2011; 25(5):1439-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Circadian rhythms are daily oscillations in various biological processes, generated by the feedback loops of eight core circadian genes: Period1 (Per1), Period2 (Per2), Period3 (Per3), Cryptochrome1 (Cry1), Cryptochrome2 (Cry2), Clock, Bmal1 and Casein Kinase I ε (CKIε). Recent studies have suggested that circadian genes participate in the growth and development of various cancers. This study examined the relations of circadian gene expression to clinicopathological factors and outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer. We studied surgical specimens of cancer tissue and adjacent normal mucosa obtained from 202 patients with untreated colorectal cancer. The relative expression levels of the circadian genes in the specimens were measured by quantitative real-time, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Expression of the Clock gene and the CKIε gene in cancer tissue were significantly higher compared to that in adjacent normal mucosa. Expression of the Per1 and Per3 genes in cancer tissue was significantly lower compared to that in adjacent normal mucosa. Analysis of the relations between clinicopathological features and expression of the eight circadian genes in cancer tissue showed that high expression of the Bmal1 gene and low expression of the Per1 gene correlated with liver metastasis. On analysis of the relations between outcomes and gene expression, high expression of the Per2 gene was associated with significantly better outcomes than low expression of the Per2 gene. Overexpression of the Bmal1 gene and reduced expression of the Per1 gene may thus be useful predictors of liver metastasis. Moreover, reduced expression of the Per2 gene may be a predictor of outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer.

Dai H, Zhang L, Cao M, et al.
The role of polymorphisms in circadian pathway genes in breast tumorigenesis.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011; 127(2):531-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Disruption of the circadian rhythm or biological clock, which is regulated by a number of clock genes, including circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (CLOCK), period genes (PERs), and cryptochrome genes (CRYs), is a risk factor for breast cancer. We hypothesized that genetic variation in these clock genes may influence breast cancer risk. To test this hypothesis, we designed a hospital-based study that included 1,538 breast cancer patients and 1,605 healthy controls. We genotyped subjects for five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and a length variant of the circadian clock genes and evaluated their associations with breast cancer risk. These polymorphisms were determined by TaqMan allelic discrimination assays and the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that polymorphisms of the CLOCK and CRY1 genes were associated with breast cancer risk. We found that carriers of the CLOCK CT and combined CT+TT genotypes had a significantly higher risk of breast cancer than carriers of the CC genotype (aOR = 1.35, 95% CI = 1.12-1.63 and aOR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.09-1.56, respectively). Carriers of the CRY1 GT genotype had a decreased risk of breast cancer (aOR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.71-0.99). We also observed a lower risk of breast cancer in carriers of the CRY2 CC genotype who were ER-positive than in those who were ER-negative (OR = 0.15, 95% CI = 0.04-0.67). When stratified by the CLOCK genotype, patients with the CLOCK CT/ CRY2 CC genotypes had significantly lower cancer risk than those with the GG genotype (aOR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.14-0.95). Individuals carrying both the CLOCK CC and PER2 AA genotypes had an increased cancer risk (aOR = 2.28, 95% CI = 1.22-4.26). Our study suggests that genetic variants of the circadian rhythm regulatory pathway genes contribute to the differential risk of developing breast cancer in Chinese populations.

Jung-Hynes B, Huang W, Reiter RJ, Ahmad N
Melatonin resynchronizes dysregulated circadian rhythm circuitry in human prostate cancer cells.
J Pineal Res. 2010; 49(1):60-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa) is a major age-related malignancy as increasing age correlates with increased risk for developing this neoplasm. Similarly, alterations in circadian rhythms have also been associated with the aging population and cancer risk. The pineal hormone melatonin is known to regulate circadian rhythms, which is under the control of a core set of genes: Period 1, 2, 3 (Per 1-3); Cryptochrome 1, 2 (Cry 1, 2); Clock, and Bmal 1, 2. Melatonin levels have been shown to decrease in patients with cancer and exogenous melatonin exhibits antiproliferative effects against certain cancers. In this study, we challenged the hypothesis that melatonin imparts antiproliferative effects in prostate cancer via resynchronization of deregulated core clock circuitry. We found that Clock and Per2 protein levels were downregulated whereas Bmal1 protein levels were upregulated in PCa cells, compared to normal prostate cells. Additionally, employing automated quantitative analysis of a microarray containing human tissues, we found that compared to benign tissues, Clock and Per2 levels were downregulated, whereas Bmal1 levels were upregulated in PCa and other proliferative prostatic conditions. Overexpression of Per2 was found to result in a significant loss of PCa cell growth and viability. Interestingly, melatonin treatment resulted in an increase in Per2 and Clock and a reduction in Bmal1 in PCa cells. Further, melatonin treatment resulted in a resynchronization of oscillatory circadian rhythm genes (Dbp and Per2). Our data support our hypothesis and suggest that melatonin should be thoroughly investigated as an agent for the management of PCa and other age-related malignancies.

Xia HC, Niu ZF, Ma H, et al.
Deregulated expression of the Per1 and Per2 in human gliomas.
Can J Neurol Sci. 2010; 37(3):365-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Growing evidence shows that the deregulation of the circadian clock plays an important role in the development of malignant tumors, including gliomas. However, the molecular mechanisms of genes controlling circadian rhythm in glioma cells have not been explored.
METHODS: Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry techniques, we examined the expression of two important clock genes, Per1 and Per2, in 33 gliomas.
RESULTS: In this study, out of 33 gliomas, 28 were Per1-positive, and 23 were Per2-positive. The expression levels of Per1 and Per2 in glioma cells were significantly different from the surrounding non-glioma cells (P<0.01). The difference in the expression rate of Per1 and Per2 in high-grade (grade III and IV) and low-grade (grade 1 and II) gliomas was insignificant (P>0.05). While there was no difference in the intensity of immunoactivity for Per2 between high-grade gliomas and low-grade gliomas (r=-0.330, P=0.061), the expression level of Per1 in high-grade gliomas was significantly lower than that in low-grade gliomas(r=-0.433, P=0.012).
CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found that the expression of Per1 and Per2 in glioma cells was much lower than in the surrounding non-glioma cells. Therefore, we suggest that disturbances in Per1 and Per2 expression may result in the disruption of the control of normal circadian rhythm, thus benefiting the survival of glioma cells. Differential expression of circadian clock genes in glioma and non-glioma cells may provide a molecular basis for the chemotherapy of gliomas.

Hill SM, Frasch T, Xiang S, et al.
Molecular mechanisms of melatonin anticancer effects.
Integr Cancer Ther. 2009; 8(4):337-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
The authors have shown that, via activation of its MT1 receptor, melatonin modulates the transcriptional activity of various nuclear receptors and the proliferation of both ER alpha+ and ER alpha- human breast cancer cells. Employing dominant-negative (DN) and dominant-positive (DP) G proteins, it was demonstrated that G alpha i2 proteins mediate the suppression of estrogen-induced ER alpha transcriptional activity by melatonin, whereas the G alpha q proteins mediate the enhancement of retinoid-induced RAR alpha transcriptional activity by melatonin. In primary human breast tumors, the authors' studies demonstrate an inverse correlation between ER alpha and MT1 receptor expression, and confocal microscopic studies demonstrate that the MT1 receptor is localized to the caveoli and that its expression can be repressed by estrogen and melatonin. Melatonin, via activation of its MT1 receptor, suppresses the development and growth of breast cancer by regulation of growth factors, regulation of gene expression, regulation of clock genes, inhibition of tumor cell invasion and metastasis, and even regulation of mammary gland development. The authors have previously reported that the clock gene, Period 2 (Per2), is not expressed in human breast cancer cells but that its reexpression in breast cancer cells results in increased expression of p53 and induction of apoptosis. The authors demonstrate that melatonin, via repression of ROR alpha transcriptional activity, blocks the expression of the clock gene BMAL1. Melatonin's blockade of BMAL1 expression is associated with the decreased expression of SIRT1, a member of the Silencing Information Regulator family and a histone and protein deacetylase that inhibits the expression of DNA repair enzymes (p53, BRCA1 & 2, and Ku70) and the expression of apoptosis-associated genes. Finally, the authors developed an MMTV-MT1-flag mammary knock-in transgenic mouse that displays reduced ductal branching, ductal epithelium proliferation, and reduced terminal end bud formation during puberty and pregnancy. Lactating female MT1 transgenic mice show a dramatic reduction in the expression of beta-casein and whey acidic milk proteins. Further analyses showed significantly reduced ER alpha expression in mammary glands of MT1 transgenic mice. These results demonstrate that the MT1 receptor is a major transducer of melatonin's actions in the breast, suppressing mammary gland development and mediating the anticancer actions of melatonin through multiple pathways.

Zhu Y, Stevens RG, Hoffman AE, et al.
Testing the circadian gene hypothesis in prostate cancer: a population-based case-control study.
Cancer Res. 2009; 69(24):9315-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Circadian genes are responsible for maintaining the ancient adaptation of a 24-hour circadian rhythm and influence a variety of cancer-related biological pathways, including the regulation of sex hormone levels. However, few studies have been undertaken to investigate the role of circadian genes in the development of prostate cancer, the most common cancer type among men (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer). The current genetic association study tested the circadian gene hypothesis in relation to prostate cancer by genotyping a total of 41 tagging and amino acid-altering single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in 10 circadian-related genes in a population-based case-control study of Caucasian men (n = 1,308 cases and 1,266 controls). Our results showed that at least one SNP in nine core circadian genes (rs885747 and rs2289591 in PER1; rs7602358 in PER2; rs1012477 in PER3; rs1534891 in CSNK1E; rs12315175 in CRY1; rs2292912 in CRY2; rs7950226 in ARNTL; rs11133373 in CLOCK; and rs1369481, rs895521, and rs17024926 in NPAS2) was significantly associated with susceptibility to prostate cancer (either overall risk or risk of aggressive disease), and the risk estimate for four SNPs in three genes (rs885747 and rs2289591 in PER1, rs1012477 in PER3, and rs11133373 in CLOCK) varied by disease aggressiveness. Further analyses of haplotypes were consistent with these genotyping results. Findings from this candidate gene association study support the hypothesis of a link between genetic variants in circadian genes and prostate cancer risk, warranting further confirmation and mechanistic investigation of circadian biomarkers in prostate tumorigenesis.

Hrushesky WJ, Grutsch J, Wood P, et al.
Circadian clock manipulation for cancer prevention and control and the relief of cancer symptoms.
Integr Cancer Ther. 2009; 8(4):387-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
Life has evolved on this planet with regular daily spans of direct solar energy availability alternating with nocturnal spans of dark. Virtually every earth-borne life form has factored this circadian pattern into its biology to ensure the temporal coordination with its resonating environment, a task essential for its individual survival and that of its species. The first whole genome inspections of mutations in human colon and breast cancer have observed specific retained clock gene mutations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms within the genes of clock, clock-controlled, and melatonin pathways have been found to confer excess cancer risk or protection from cancer. Experimental studies have shown that specific core clock genes (Per2 and Per1) are tumor suppressors because their genetic absence doubles tumor numbers, and decreasing their expression in cancer cells doubles cancer growth rate, whereas their overexpression decreases cancer growth rate and diminishes tumor numbers. Experimental interference with circadian clock function increases cancer growth rate, and clinical circadian disruption is associated with higher cancer incidence, faster cancer progression, and shorter cancer patient survival. Patients with advanced lung cancer suffering greater circadian activity/sleep cycle disruption suffer greater interference with function, greater anxiety and depression, poorer nighttime sleep, greater daytime fatigue, and poorer quality of life than comparable patients who maintain good circadian integration. We must now determine whether strategies known to help synchronize the circadian clocks of normal individuals can do so in advanced cancer patients and whether doing so allows cancer patients to feel better and/or live longer. Several academic laboratories and at least 2 large pharmaceutical firms are screening for small molecules targeting the circadian clock to stabilize its phase and enhance its amplitude and thereby consolidate and coordinate circadian organization, which in turn is likely to help prevent and control human cancer. These drugs and strategies can, in turn, be used to make cancer patients with advanced disease feel and function more normally.

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