The circadian clock, which regulates cellular physiology, such as energy metabolism, resides in each cell level throughout the body. Recently, it has been elucidated that the cellular circadian clock is closely linked with cellular differentiation. Moreover, the misregulation of cellular differentiation in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) induced abnormally differentiated cells with impaired circadian clock oscillation, concomitant with the post-transcriptional suppression of CLOCK proteins. Here, we show that the circadian molecular oscillation is disrupted in dysdifferentiation-mediated mouse kidney tumors induced by partial in vivo reprogramming, resembling Wilms tumors. The expression of CLOCK protein was dramatically reduced in the tumor cells despite the Clock mRNA expression. We also showed that a similar loss of CLOCK was observed in human Wilms tumors, suggesting that the circadian molecular clockwork may be disrupted in dysdifferentiation-mediated embryonal tumors such as Wilms tumors, similar to the in vivo reprogramming-induced mouse kidney tumors. These results support our previous reports and may provide a novel viewpoint for understanding the pathophysiological nature of cancers through the correlation between cellular differentiation and circadian clock.
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