The timing clockwork of life

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many aspects of human physiology, metabolism and behaviour vary over the 24-hour day and can have a major impact on our health and well-being. Circadian rhythms are observed at all levels of cellular organization. There are daily oscillations in the levels of enzymes and hormones that affect the timing of cell function, division, and growth. Recent progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying circadian rhythms has been remarkable. In its most basic form, circadian clocks are comprised of a set of proteins that generate a self-sustaining transcriptional-translational feedback loop with a free-running period of about 24 h. One or more of the clock components is acutely sensitive to light, resulting in an oscillator that can be synchronized to local time. The disruption or the reinforcement of the host circadian timing system, respectively, accelerates or slows down cancer growth through modifications of host and tumor circadian clocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Cell cycle
  • Circadian rhythmicity
  • Clock genes
  • Tumor suppression
  • Tumorigenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research


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