Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 423–431 | Cite as

Down regulation of circadian clock gene Period 2 accelerates breast cancer growth by altering its daily growth rhythm

  • Xiaoming Yang
  • Patricia A. Wood
  • Eun-Young Oh
  • Jovelyn Du-Quiton
  • Christine M. Ansell
  • William J. M. Hrushesky
Brief Report


Purpose Per2, a core circadian clock gene, has tumor suppressor properties and is mutated or down regulated in human breast cancers. We have manipulated the expression of this gene in vitro and in vivo to more fully understand how the Per2 clock gene product affects cancer growth. Methods We used siRNA and shRNA to down regulate Per2 expression in vitro and in vivo and measured cancer cell proliferation, tumor growth rate and several molecular pathways relevant to cancer growth and their circadian organizations. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results Down regulation of functional Per2 gene expression increases Cyclin D and Cyclin E levels and doubles in vitro breast cancer cell proliferation (P < 0.05). Down regulation of Per2 also accelerates in vivo tumor growth and doubles the daily amplitude of the tumor growth rhythm (P < 0.05). Conclusions The clock gene Per2 exerts its tumor suppressor function in a circadian time dependent manner. Therefore, Per2 and perhaps other clock genes represent a new class of potential therapeutic targets whose manipulation will modulate cancer growth and cancer cell proliferation.


Circadian Breast cancer Growth rate Growth rhythm Per2 Cyclin D 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoming Yang
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Wood
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eun-Young Oh
    • 1
  • Jovelyn Du-Quiton
    • 1
  • Christine M. Ansell
    • 1
  • William J. M. Hrushesky
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical Chronobiology LaboratoryWJB Dorn VA Medical CenterColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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