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Altman Lab

Circadian Rhythms in Many Organisms

Cell Metabolism Cover

Circadian Clock and Cancer Metabolism. From the December 2015 issue of Cell Metabolism, Altman et al. Artwork by Lili Guo.

Circadian rhythms in mammals are 24 hour cycles that govern gene regulation and cellular metabolism.  While many cancers have disrupted circadian rhythms, there is little understanding of the implications of this disruption on cancer cell metabolism and growth.  I have previously shown that the MYC oncogene disrupts circadian rhythm and metabolic oscillations, which may provide a growth advantage to the cancer cell.  My research focuses on identifying the intersections between circadian rhythm, cancer cell physiology, and metabolism, focusing on the extended MYC family of oncogenes and related proteins, as well as the roles of nutrient input and stress signaling in circadian rhythm control. 

My research, which is supported by an NIH/NCI K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, focuses on these intersections both in diverse cell line models of cancer and mouse MYC-driven lung cancer with a circadian reporter.  Better understanding of oncogenes in disrupting and changing the circadian metabolic cycle could aid in developing strategies to time increased efficacy and reduced toxicity.

Brian Altman, Ph.D.

Brian J. Altman, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator


Bu Y, Yoshida A, Chitnis N, Altman BJ, Tameire F, Oran O, Gennaro V, Armeson KE, McMahon S, Wertheim GB, Dang CV, Ruggero D, Koumenis C, Fuchs SY, and Diehl JA.  2017.  A PERK-miR211 axis suppresses circadian regulators and protein synthesis to promote cancer cell survivalNat. Cell. Biol.  20(1): p. 104-115.

Krishnaiah SY, Wu GW, Altman BJ, Growe J, Rhoades S, Coldren F, Venkataraman A, Olarerin-George AO, Francey LJ, Mukherjee S, Selby CP, Cal S, Ubeydullah ER, Sianati B, Sengupta A, Anafi RC, Kavakli IH, Sancar A, Baur JA, Dang CV, Hogenesch JB, and Weljie AM.  2017. Clock regulation of metabolites reveals coupling between transcription and metabolismCell Metab. 25(4): p. 961-974.

Altman BJ, Hsieh AL, Gouw AM, and Dang CV.  2017.  Correspondence: Oncogenic MYC persistently upregulates the molecular clock component REV-ERBα.  Nat Commun. (14862).

Altman BJ, Hsieh AL, Sengupta A, Krishnanaiah SY, Stine ZE, Walton ZE, Gouw AM, Venkataraman A, Li B, Goraksha-Hicks P, Diskin SJ, Bellovin DI, Simon MC, Rathmell JC, Lazar MA, Maris JM, Felsher DW, Hogenesch JB, Weljie AM, and Dang CV.  2015.  MYC Disrupts the Circadian Clock and Metabolism in Cancer Cells. Cell Metab. 22: p. 1009-1019.

Xiang Y, Stine ZE, Xia J, Lu Y, O'Connor RS, Altman BJ, Hsieh AL, Gouw AM, Thomas AG, Gao P, Sun L, Song L, Yan B, Slusher BS, Zhuo J, Ooi LL, Lee CG, Mancuso A, McCallion AS, Le A, Milone MC, Rayport S, Felsher DW, and Dang CV.  2015. Targeted inhibition of tumor-specific glutaminase diminishes cell-autonomous tumorigenesis. J Clin Invest. 125(6): p. 2293-306.

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601 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14642