Circadian Rhythms

Metabolic Lags

Science Signaling  15 Mar 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 164, pp. ec80
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4164ec80

Jet travel and working the night shift uncouple patterns of eating and activity from the body’s internal circadian clock. Recent evidence indicates that such disruption of circadian rhythms has deleterious consequences for metabolic control and can increase the occurrence of diseases like obesity or diabetes. Feng et al. (see the Perspective by Moore) provide insight into the molecular mechanisms that couple circadian rhythms to metabolic control in the liver. The authors found that histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) bound to more than 14,000 genes throughout the genome during the day when mice were inactive but to only about 100 genes during the night when the animals were active and feeding. Genes with products that function in liver metabolism tended to bind HDAC3, and the presence of HDAC3 was associated with histone deacetylation and decreased transcription. Thus, failure to coordinate expression of such genes with feeding and activity may contribute to the observed effects of circadian disruption on metabolism.

D. Feng, T. Liu, Z. Sun, A. Bugge, S. E. Mullican, T. Alenghat, X. S. Liu, M. A. Lazar, A circadian rhythm orchestrated by histone deacetylase 3 controls hepatic lipid metabolism. Science 331, 1315–1319 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

D. D. Moore, Crise de foie, redux? Science 331, 1275–1276 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]