New study reveals a link between circadian clock disruption and tumor growth

In humans and most other organisms, a circadian clock governed by light regulates the timing of key aspects of human physiology, by controlling cellular activities such as metabolism and division. Now it emerges that data from a handful of large studies of cancer risk factors have found that working the night shift (something that obviously affects your circadian rhythm), increases your chance of developing cancer. Biologists at MIT have identified a link that may explain this heightened risk. In a study of mice, the MIT team found that two genes that control cells'  also function as tumor suppressors and loss of these tumor suppressors, either through gene deletion or disruption of the normal light/dark cycle, allows tumors to become more aggressive.

More information: Circadian Rhythm Disruption Promotes Lung Tumorigenesis. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2016.07.001 

Journal reference: Cell Metabolism  

Provided by: Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

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