Global Cancer News

Cancer overrides the circadian clock to survive

Anne Li

Tumor cells use the unfolded protein response to alter circadian rhythm, which contributes to more tumor growth, researchers find. A key part of the the circadian clock opposes this process. For tumors to grow and spread, cancer cells must make larger than normal amounts of nucleic acids and protein, so they can replicate themselves. Yet in both normal and cancer cells that increase their synthesis of protein, a small percent of those proteins do not fold properly. When that happens, the cell activates its unfolded protein response (UPR), which slows down the making of new proteins while the misfolded proteins are refolded. Eventually, the buildup of misfolded proteins becomes toxic and leads to cell death. However, cancer cells have learned to use the UPR to slow protein synthesis when needed, in order to handle the backlog of misfolded proteins. This helps them survive in conditions that would kill normal cells.

See original article at:

Post a comment