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All life of Earth has evolved mechanisms to track time. This permits anticipation of predictable changes in light/dark, and in most cases also directs fed/fasted cycles, and sleep/wake. The nuclear receptors enjoy a close relationship with the molecular machinery of the clock. Some play a core role within the circadian machinery, other respond to ligands which oscillate in concentration, and physical cross-talk between clock transcription factors, eg cryptochromes, and multiple nuclear receptors also enable coupling of nuclear receptor function to time of day. Essential processes including inflammation, and energy metabolism are strongly regulated by both the circadian machinery, and rhythmic behaviour, and also by multiple members of the nuclear receptor family. An emerging theme is reciprocal regulation of key processes by different members of the nuclear receptor family, for example NR1D1/2, and NR1F1, in regulation of the core circadian clock transcription factor BMAL1.

Original publication




Journal article


Adv Exp Med Biol

Publication Date





143 - 153


Circadian, Energy metabolism, Inflammation, Nuclear receptor, Sleep, Suprachiasmatic nucleus, ARNTL Transcription Factors, Circadian Clocks, Circadian Rhythm, Cryptochromes, Ligands