As a complementary approach to positional cloning, we used in vivo complementation with bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones expressed in transgenic mice to identify the circadian Clock gene. A 140 kb BAC transgene completely rescued both the long period and the loss-of-rhythm phenotypes in Clock mutant mice. Analysis with overlapping BAC transgenes demonstrates that a large transcription unit spanning approximately 100,000 base pairs is the Clock gene and encodes a novel basic-helix-loop-helix-PAS domain protein. Overexpression of the Clock transgene can shorten period length beyond the wild-type range, which provides additional evidence that Clock is an integral component of the circadian pacemaking system. Taken together, these results provide a proof of principle that "cloning by rescue" is an efficient and definitive method in mice.