Role of the CLOCK protein in the mammalian circadian mechanism

Nicholas Gekakis, David Staknis, Hubert B. Nguyen, Fred C. Davis, Lisa D. Wilsbacner, David P. King, Joseph S. Takahashi, Charles J. Weitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1157 Scopus citations


The mouse Clock gene encodes a bHLH-PAS protein that regulates circadian rhythms and is related to transcription factors that act as heterodimers. Potential partners of CLOCK were isolated in a two-hybrid screen, and one, BMAL1, was coexpressed with CLOCK and PER1 at known circadian clock sites in brain and retina. CLOCK-BMAL1 heterodimers activated transcription from E- box elements, a type of transcription factor-binding site, found adjacent to the mouse per1 gene and from an identical E-box known to be important for per gene expression in Drosophila. Mutant CLOCK from the dominant-negative Clock allele and BMAL1 formed heterodimers that bound DNA but failed to activate transcription. Thus, CLOCK-BMAL1 heterodimers appear to drive the positive component of per transcriptional oscillations, which are thought to underlie circadian rhythmicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1564-1569
Number of pages6
Issue number5369
StatePublished - Jun 5 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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