ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: The circadian clock gene Bmal1 is involved in cancer cell proliferation and DNA damage sensitivity. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of Bmal1 on oxaliplatin sensitivity and to determine its clinical significance in colorectal cancer.Experimental Design: Three colorectal cancer cell lines, HCT116, THC8307 and HT29, were used. The Bmal1-mediated control of colorectal cancer cell proliferation was tested in vitro and in vivo. MTT and colony formation assays were performed to determine the sensitivity of colorectal cancer cells to oxaliplatin. Flow cytometry was used to examine changes in the cell-cycle distribution and apoptosis rate. Proteins expressed downstream of Bmal1 upon its overexpression were determined by Western blotting. Immunohistochemistry was used to analyze Bmal1 expression in 82 archived colorectal cancer tumors from patients treated with oxaliplatin-based regimens.Results: Bmal1 overexpression inhibited colorectal cancer cell proliferation and increased colorectal cancer sensitivity to oxaliplatin in three colorectal cancer cell lines and HCT116 cells model in vivo. Furthermore, the overall survival of patients with colorectal cancer with high Bmal1 levels in their primary tumors was significantly longer than that of patients with low Bmal1 levels (27 vs. 19 months; P = 0.043). The progression-free survival of patients with high Bmal1 expression was also significantly longer than that of patients with low Bmal1 expression (11 vs. 5 months; P = 0.015). Mechanistically, the effect of Bmal1 was associated with its ability to regulate G2–M arrest by activating the ATM pathway.Conclusion: Bmal1 shows the potential as a novel prognostic biomarker and may represent a new therapeutic target in colorectal cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 20(4); 1042–52. ©2013 AACR.