Endocrine Reviews Journal Article

Circadian Rhythms and Metabolism

July 20, 2020
 

Yong Hoon Kim and Mitchell A Lazar
Endocrine Reviews, Volume 41, Issue 5, October 2020, bnaa014
https://doi.org/10.1210/endrev/bnaa014

Abstract

All biological processes, living organisms, and ecosystems have evolved with the Sun that confers a 24-hour periodicity to life on Earth. Circadian rhythms arose from evolutionary needs to maximize daily organismal fitness by enabling organisms to mount anticipatory and adaptive responses to recurrent light-dark cycles and associated environmental changes. The clock is a conserved feature in nearly all forms of life, ranging from prokaryotes to virtually every cell of multicellular eukaryotes. The mammalian clock comprises transcription factors interlocked in negative feedback loops, which generate circadian expression of genes that coordinate rhythmic physiology. In this review, we highlight previous and recent studies that have advanced our understanding of the transcriptional architecture of the mammalian clock, with a specific focus on epigenetic mechanisms, transcriptomics, and 3-dimensional chromatin architecture. In addition, we discuss reciprocal ways in which the clock and metabolism regulate each other to generate metabolic rhythms. We also highlight implications of circadian biology in human health, ranging from genetic and environment disruptions of the clock to novel therapeutic opportunities for circadian medicine. Finally, we explore remaining fundamental questions and future challenges to advancing the field forward.

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