The discovery of circadian clock genes and the use of similar strategies to discover unknown genes underlying complex behaviors and brain disorders

Fred W Turek*, D. E. Kolker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over just the past few years, tremendous progress has been made in unraveling the molecular basis of the circadian clock in mammals. This success has been primarily due to an approach whereby mutations are induced randomly in the germ line and the offspring of the mutagenized animals are tested for abnormal circadian phenotype. Circadian clock genes have been discovered this way in both fruit flies and mice and it is now clear that most, if not all clock genes show homology between flies and mammals, including humans. This 'forward genetics' approach is a powerful tool for uncovering genes which underline complex behaviors and brain disorders. Even when a complex neural function involves many, many genes, mutating just one of these genes can have pronounced effects on the expressed behavior and can lead to the discovery of other genes, and their protein products, that interact directly or indirectly with the mutated gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-482
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Neuropsychopharmacology
Volume11
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 13 2001

Keywords

  • Circadian
  • Forward genetics
  • Mutagenesis
  • Phenotype screening
  • Sleep rhythms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology(all)

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