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Molecular Advances in Circadian Rhythm and Metabolism

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Endocrinology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2024 | Viewed by 1003

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
Interests: cellular bioenergetics; mitochondria physiology; chronobiology

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Guest Editor
Laboratory of Biochemistry, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Università degli Studi di Foggia, Foggia, Italy
Interests: cancer; mitochondria physiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Most of the organisms on Earth are subjected to circadian rhythms, which last 24 h, due to external oscillations (such as light, darkness, or temperature fluctuations) and internal stimuli such as endocrine signals. During evolution, organisms developed an autonomous time-keeping mechanism, enabling them to anticipate geo-physical diurnal changes, thereby acquiring a competitive advantage.

In mammals, the synchronization of circadian rhythms is systemically controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), located in the hypothalamus and regulated via photic inputs sent by the optic nerve. Other local circadian clocks, synchronized by the SCN, are in the peripheral tissue and regulate physiological, biochemical, and behavioral rhythms.

At the molecular level, circadian rhythmicity is established autonomously through a transcriptional–translational feedback loop involving a core clock gene system with the heterodimeric complex formed by CLOCK and BMAL1 proteins that bind E-box regulatory sequences driving the extensive gene expression of clock-controlled genes.

It has been estimated via transcriptomic analysis that in mammals, depending on the tissue, 30–70% of the entire genome is under clock gene control. In this regard, mounting evidence indicates the tight control of catabolic and anabolic cell metabolism. Consistently, circadian disruption has a negative impact on metabolism, with increased metabolic risks and development in humans with cardiovascular, cancer, neurological and psychiatric, and immunological diseases. Intriguingly, factors affecting metabolism such as physical exercise and diet have been reported to influence circadian rhythms. This suggests a complex reciprocal interplay between metabolism and biological rhythms that warrants the deepening of our understanding in terms of molecular mechanisms, which this Special Issue intends to contribute with the aim to provide mechanistic insights into circadian physiology and to advance new chronotherapy approaches and therapeutic targets for metabolic disorders.

Dr. Olga Cela
Dr. Rosella Scrima
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

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  • circadian rhythms
  • metabolism
  • clock genes
  • protein processing/post-translational modifications
  • chronomedicine

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 509 KiB  
Circadian Gene Variants: Effects in Overweight and Obese Pregnant Women
by Marica Franzago, Paola Borrelli, Pierluigi Cavallo, Luciano Di Tizio, Diego Gazzolo, Marta Di Nicola, Liborio Stuppia and Ester Vitacolonna
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(7), 3838; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25073838 - 29 Mar 2024
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Obesity and overweight are common and complex conditions influenced by multiple genetic and environmental factors. Several genetic variants located in the genes involved in clock systems and fat taste perception can affect metabolic health. In particular, the polymorphisms in CLOCK and BMAL1 genes [...] Read more.
Obesity and overweight are common and complex conditions influenced by multiple genetic and environmental factors. Several genetic variants located in the genes involved in clock systems and fat taste perception can affect metabolic health. In particular, the polymorphisms in CLOCK and BMAL1 genes were reported to be significantly related to cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, sleep reduction, and evening preference. Moreover, genetic variants in the CD36 gene have been shown to be involved in lipid metabolism, regulation of fat intake, and body weight regulation. The aim of this study is to evaluate, for the first time, the association between variants in some candidate genes (namely, BMAL1 rs7950226 (G>A), CLOCK rs1801260 (A>G), CLOCK rs4864548 (G>A), CLOCK rs3736544 (G>A), CD36 rs1984112 (A>G), CD36 rs1761667 (G>A)) and overweight/obesity (OB) in pregnant women. A total of 163 normal-weight (NW) and 128 OB participants were included. A significant correlation was observed between A-allele in CLOCK rs4864548 and an increased risk of obesity (OR: 1.97; 95% CI 1.22–3.10, p = 0.005). In addition, we found that subjects carrying the haplotype of rs1801260-A, rs4864548-A, and rs3736544-G are likely to be overweight or obese (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.03–2.09, p = 0.030), compared with those with other haplotypes. Moreover, a significant relation was observed between third-trimester lipid parameters and genetic variants—namely, CD36 rs1984112, CD36 rs1761667, BMAL1 rs7950226, and CLOCK rs1801260. A multivariate logistic regression model revealed that CLOCK rs4864548 A-allele carriage was a strong risk factor for obesity (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.07–3.93, p = 0.029); on the other hand, greater adherence to Mediterranean diet (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.65–0.98, p = 0.038) and higher HDL levels (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.94–0.99, p = 0.021) were related to a reduced risk of obesity. Interestingly, an association between maternal CLOCK rs4864548 and neonatal birthweight was detected (p = 0.025). These data suggest a potential role of the polymorphisms in clock systems and in fat taste perception in both susceptibility to overweight/obesity and influencing the related metabolic traits in pregnant women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Advances in Circadian Rhythm and Metabolism)
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