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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Jul;23(7):319-25. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2012.03.004. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Circadian autophagy rhythm: a link between clock and metabolism?

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  • 1Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, 210 Washtenaw Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Nutrient and energy metabolism in mammals exhibits a strong diurnal rhythm that aligns with the body clock. Circadian regulation of metabolism is mediated through reciprocal signaling between the clock and metabolic regulatory networks. Recent work has demonstrated that autophagy is rhythmically activated in a clock-dependent manner. Because autophagy is a conserved biological process that contributes to nutrient and cellular homeostasis, its cyclic induction may provide a novel link between clock and metabolism. This review discusses the mechanisms underlying circadian autophagy regulation, the role of rhythmic autophagy in nutrient and energy metabolism, and its implications in physiology and metabolic disease.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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