A new research from the University of California, Irvine has revealed that loss of circadian regulation allows for increase in glucose production as lung cancer progresses. The study is titled “Glucagon regulates the stability of REV-ERBα to modulate hepatic glucose production in a model of lung cancer-associated cachexia” and is published in Science Advances.
The study show how the circadian is regulated under conditions like lung cancer progression and cancer associated tissue wasting disease called cachexia. It shows that the circadian regulation of glucose production is lost and the resulting increase in glucose may lead to cancer cell growth. It places circadian clock as a central regulator of glucose production and provides insights towards development of novel therapeutics to target REV-ERBa, resulting in lowering down the growth of cancer cells. This circadian clock is the biological pacemaker responsible for maintaining physiological homeostasis in all tissues of the body.
Selma Masri, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry at UCI School of Medicine, said, “Our research shows that a critical circadian protein, REV-ERBa, controls glucose production in the liver. During lung cancer progression and specifically under conditions of cachexia, this circadian regulation is lost, resulting in increased glucose production from the liver.” “Based on our findings, we identified that lung tumors are able to provide instructive cues to the liver to increase glucose production, a major fuel source for cancer cells,” he added.
The research provides an important insight on how the circadian clock is regulated during lung cancer progression. The researchers are continuing to investigate the consequence of increased glucose production by tracing metabolic fate of this newly generated glucose. This will help in determining whether it can drive the heightened metabolic demand of lung cancer cells or not.
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