Running for time: circadian rhythms and melanoma

Elitza P. Markova-Car, Davor Jurišić, Nataša Ilić, Sandra Kraljević Pavelić

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Circadian timing system includes an input pathway transmitting environmental signals to a core oscillator that generates circadian signals responsible for the peripheral physiological or behavioural events. Circadian 24-h rhythms regulate diverse physiologic processes. Deregulation of these rhythms is associated with a number of pathogenic conditions including depression, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cancer. Melanoma is a less common type of skin cancer yet more aggressive often with a lethal ending. However, little is known about circadian control in melanoma and exact functional associations between core clock genes and development of melanoma skin cancer. This paper, therefore, comprehensively analyses current literature data on the involvement of circadian clock components in melanoma development. In particular, the role of circadian rhythm deregulation is discussed in the context of DNA repair mechanisms and influence of UV radiation and artificial light exposure on cancer development. The role of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) enzyme and impact of melatonin, as a major output factor of circadian rhythm, and its protective role in melanoma are discussed in details. We hypothesise that further understanding of clock genes’ involvement and circadian regulation might foster discoveries in the field of melanoma diagnostics and treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8359-8368
Number of pages10
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM).


  • Cancer
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Clock genes
  • Melanoma
  • Melatonin


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