Clocks, metabolism, and the epigenome

Mol Cell. 2012 Jul 27;47(2):158-67. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2012.06.026.


Many behaviors and physiological activities in living organisms display circadian rhythms, allowing the organisms to anticipate and prepare for the diurnal changes in the living environment. In this way, metabolic processes are aligned with the periodic environmental changes and behavioral cycles, such as the sleep/wake and fasting/feeding cycles. Disturbances of this alignment significantly increase the risk of metabolic diseases. Meanwhile, the circadian clock receives signals from the environment and feedback from metabolic pathways, and adjusts its activity and function. Growing evidence connects the circadian clock with epigenomic regulators. Here we review the recent advances in understanding the crosstalk between the circadian clock and energy metabolism through epigenomic programming and transcriptional regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Epigenomics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Heme / chemistry
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Risk
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Histones
  • Lipids
  • Heme
  • Glucose