Predicted Role of NAD Utilization in the Control of Circadian Rhythms during DNA Damage Response

PLoS Comput Biol. 2015 May 28;11(5):e1004144. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004144. eCollection 2015 May.


The circadian clock is a set of regulatory steps that oscillate with a period of approximately 24 hours influencing many biological processes. These oscillations are robust to external stresses, and in the case of genotoxic stress (i.e. DNA damage), the circadian clock responds through phase shifting with primarily phase advancements. The effect of DNA damage on the circadian clock and the mechanism through which this effect operates remains to be thoroughly investigated. Here we build an in silico model to examine damage-induced circadian phase shifts by investigating a possible mechanism linking circadian rhythms to metabolism. The proposed model involves two DNA damage response proteins, SIRT1 and PARP1, that are each consumers of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a metabolite involved in oxidation-reduction reactions and in ATP synthesis. This model builds on two key findings: 1) that SIRT1 (a protein deacetylase) is involved in both the positive (i.e. transcriptional activation) and negative (i.e. transcriptional repression) arms of the circadian regulation and 2) that PARP1 is a major consumer of NAD during the DNA damage response. In our simulations, we observe that increased PARP1 activity may be able to trigger SIRT1-induced circadian phase advancements by decreasing SIRT1 activity through competition for NAD supplies. We show how this competitive inhibition may operate through protein acetylation in conjunction with phosphorylation, consistent with reported observations. These findings suggest a possible mechanism through which multiple perturbations, each dominant during different points of the circadian cycle, may result in the phase advancement of the circadian clock seen during DNA damage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • ARNTL Transcription Factors / genetics
  • ARNTL Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Apraxia, Ideomotor
  • CLOCK Proteins / genetics
  • CLOCK Proteins / metabolism
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Computational Biology
  • Computer Simulation
  • DNA Damage*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • NAD / metabolism*
  • Period Circadian Proteins / genetics
  • Period Circadian Proteins / metabolism
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases / metabolism
  • Sirtuin 1 / metabolism


  • ARNTL Transcription Factors
  • Circadian Rhythm Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Period Circadian Proteins
  • NAD
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • Sirtuin 1