Genetic analysis of the circadian system of mammals: properties and prospects

Michael Menaker, Joseph S. Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Two autosomal semidominant mutations that affect the period of the circadian clock have been discovered in rodents. In the golden hamster, the tau mutation shortens the period from 24 h (wild-type) to 22 h (heterozygote) and 20 h (homozygote). In the mouse the Clock mutation lengthens the period by more than 1 h (heterozygote) and initially by about 4 h in homozygotes, which then become arrhythmic within 3 weeks. These mutations, and the others that will surely be identified by further screening, will provide powerful tools for the dissection of the mammalian clock at both the molecular and the system level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-70
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1995


  • circadian
  • clock
  • hamster
  • mouse
  • mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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