Circadian sensitivity to the chemotherapeutic agent cyclophosphamide depends on the functional status of the CLOCK/BMAL1 transactivation complex

Victoria Y. Gorbacheva, Roman V. Kondratov, Renliang Zhang, Srujana Cherukuri, Andrei V. Gudkov, Joseph S. Takahashi, Marina P. Antoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

180 Scopus citations


The circadian clock controls many aspects of mammalian physiology, including responses to cancer therapy. We find that wild-type and circadian mutant mice demonstrate striking differences in their response to the anticancer drug cyclophosphamide (CY). While the sensitivity of wild-type mice varies greatly, depending on the time of drug administration. Clock mutant and Bmal1 knockout mice are highly sensitive to treatment at all times tested. On the contrary, mice with loss-of-function mutations in Cryptochrome (Cry1 -/-Cry2-/- double knockouts) were more resistant to CY compared with their wild-type littermates. Thus, both time-of-day and allelic-dependent variations in response to chemotherapy correlate with the functional status of the circadian CLOCK/BMAL1 transactivation complex. Pharmacokinetic analysis of plasma concentration of different CY metabolites shows that, in contrast to the traditional view, circadian variations in drug sensitivity cannot be attributed to the changes in the rates of CY metabolic activation and/or detoxification. At the same time, mice of different circadian genotypes demonstrate significant differences in B cell responses to toxic CY metabolites: B cell survival/recovery rate was directly correlated with the in vivo drug sensitivity. Based on these results, we propose that the CLOCK/BMAL1 transcriptional complex affects the lethality of chemotherapeutic agents by modulating the survival of the target cells necessary for the viability of the organism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3407-3412
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2005



  • Chemotherapy
  • Circadian clock
  • Drug response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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