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Circadian clocks and cell division: what's the pacemaker?

Authors
  • Johnson, Carl Hirschie
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cell Cycle
Publisher
Landes Bioscience
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2010
Volume
9
Issue
19
Pages
3864–3873
Identifiers
PMID: 20890114
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Evolution has selected a system of two intertwined cell cycles: the cell division cycle (CDC) and the daily (circadian) biological clock. The circadian clock keeps track of solar time and programs biological processes to occur at environmentally appropriate times. One of these processes is the CDC, which is often gated by the circadian clock. The intermeshing of these two cell cycles is probably responsible for the observation that disruption of the circadian system enhances susceptibility to some kinds of cancer. The core mechanism underlying the circadian clockwork has been thought to be a transcription & translation feedback loop (TTFL), but recent evidence from studies with cyanobacteria, synthetic oscillators and immortalized cell lines suggests that the core circadian pacemaking mechanism that gates cell division in mammalian cells could be a post-translational oscillator (PTO).

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