Circadian clock circuitry in colorectal cancer

Gianluigi Mazzoccoli, Manlio Vinciguerra, Gennaro Papa, Ada Piepoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colorectal cancer is the most prevalent among digestive system cancers. Carcinogenesis relies on disrupted control of cellular processes, such as metabolism, proliferation, DNA damage recognition and repair, and apoptosis. Cell, tissue, organ and body physiology is characterized by periodic fluctuations driven by biological clocks operating through the clock gene machinery. Dysfunction of molecular clockworks and cellular oscillators is involved in tumorigenesis, and altered expression of clock genes has been found in cancer patients. Epidemiological studies have shown that circadian disruption, that is, alteration of bodily temporal organization, is a cancer risk factor, and an increased incidence of colorectal neoplastic disease is reported in shift workers. In this review we describe the involvement of the circadian clock circuitry in colorectal carcinogenesis and the therapeutic strategies addressing temporal deregulation in colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4197-4207
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Apr 21 2014


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Clock gene
  • Colorectal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Medicine(all)


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