Circadian clock and oral cancer (Review)
- Minou Nirvani
- Cuong Khuu
- Tor Paaske Utheim
- Lars Peter Sand
- Amer Sehic
Published online on: November 27, 2017
Copyright: © Nirvani et al.
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.
The circadian clock is comprised of a master component situated in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus and subordinate clock genes in almost every cell of the body. The circadian clock genes and their encoded proteins govern the organism to follow the natural signals of time, and adapt to external changes in the environment. The majority of physiological processes in mammals exhibit variable circadian rhythms, which are generated and coordinated by an oscillation in the expression of the clock genes. A number of studies have reported that alteration in the expression level of clock genes is correlated with several pathological conditions, including cancer. However, little is known about the role of clock genes in homeostasis of the oral epithelium and their disturbances in oral carcinogenesis. The present review summarizes the current state of knowledge of the implications of clock genes in oral cancer. It has been demonstrated that the development of oral squamous cell carcinoma undergoes circadian oscillation in relation to tumor volume and proliferation rate. The circadian clock gene period (PER)1 has been associated with oral cancer pathogenesis and it is suggested that changes in the expression of PER1 may exhibit an important role in the development, invasion, and metastasis of oral squamous cell carcinoma. However, its role remains elusive and there is a need for further research in order to understand the underlying mechanisms of the clock genes in oral cancer pathogenesis.