Cancer: Body out of sync

The body clock of mammals — or circadian rhythm — is synchronised with the cell-division cycle, but little is known about how the two work together.

Now a team of researchers from The Rockefeller University in New York have imaged single proliferating fibroblasts in mice and found that the cell division cycle is set to the tissue-level clock in a 1:1 fashion1.

When they used a drug to disrupt this synchronized behaviour, cell division began to outpace the circadian clock, leading to rapid cell proliferation. This, the researchers say, could help explain why shift-workers are more susceptible to cancer and might better inform chemotherapy.

 

References

1. Feillet C et al. PNAS . 2014: 1320474111v1-201320474.

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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 5 July 2014, Vol 293, No 7817;293(7817):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20065562