[Biology and genetics of circadian rhythm]

Encephale. 2009 Jan;35 Suppl 2:S53-7. doi: 10.1016/S0013-7006(09)75534-4.
[Article in French]


In recent decades our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of biological clocks has grown expontentially. This has helped to guide the choice of genes studied to explain inter-individual variations seen in circadian rhythms. In recent years analysis of circadian rhythms has advanced considerably into the study of pathological circadian rhythms in human beings. These findings, combined with those obtained from studying mice whose circadian genes have been rendered incapable, have revealed the role of genetic factors in circadian rhythms. This literature review presents an overview of these findings. Beyond our understanding of the functioning of these biological clocks, this knowledge will be extremely useful to analyse genetic factors involved in morbid conditions involving circadian rhythm abnormalities.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ARNTL Transcription Factors
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Biological Clocks / genetics*
  • Biological Clocks / physiology
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • Chronobiology Disorders / genetics*
  • Chronobiology Disorders / physiopathology
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus / physiopathology
  • Trans-Activators / genetics


  • ARNTL Transcription Factors
  • ARNTL protein, human
  • ARNTL2 protein, human
  • Arntl protein, mouse
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • NPAS2 protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • CLOCK protein, human
  • Clock protein, mouse