Disrupting the circadian clock: gene-specific effects on aging, cancer, and other phenotypes

Aging (Albany NY). 2011 May;3(5):479-93. doi: 10.18632/aging.100323.


The circadian clock imparts 24-hour rhythmicity on gene expression and cellular physiology in virtually all cells. Disruption of the genes necessary for the circadian clock to function has diverse effects, including aging-related phenotypes. Some circadian clock genes have been described as tumor suppressors, while other genes have less clear functions in aging and cancer. In this Review, we highlight a recent study [Dubrovsky et al., Aging 2: 936-944, 2010] and discuss the much larger field examining the relationship between circadian clock genes, circadian rhythmicity, aging-related phenotypes, and cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / genetics*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Circadian Clocks / genetics*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Periodicity
  • Phenotype
  • Trans-Activators / physiology


  • Trans-Activators