Circadian regulation of cancer cell and tumor microenvironment crosstalk

Wenjing Xuan, Fatima Khan, Charles David James, Amy B. Heimberger, Maciej S. Lesniak, Peiwen Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Circadian rhythms regulate a remarkable variety of physiologic functions in living organisms. Circadian disruption is associated with tumorigenesis and tumor progression through effects on cancer cell biological properties, including proliferation, DNA repair, apoptosis, metabolism, and stemness. Emerging evidence indicates that circadian clocks also play an influential role in the tumor microenvironment (TME). This review outlines recent discoveries on how cancer cell clock components (including circadian clock and clock genes/proteins) regulate TME biology and, reciprocally, how TME clock components affect tumor growth, metastasis, and therapeutic response. An improved understanding of how clock components regulate the symbiosis between cancer cells and the TME will inform the development of novel clock-oriented therapeutic strategies, including immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-950
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • circadian rhythms
  • crosstalk
  • symbiosis
  • tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Circadian regulation of cancer cell and tumor microenvironment crosstalk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this