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    Genes involved with the regulation mammalian "biological clock"

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    What genes are involved with the regulation mammalian "biological clock" causing it to maintain a consistent 24 hour cycle? Please describe the possible pathways involved in this phenomenon?

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    Most of our understanding of circadian rhythm comes from studies done in flies. The fly's clock consists of a core system of four regulatory proteins that interact to give the clock periodicity. The cycle begins when two of these proteins, CLOCK and CYCLE, bind together and increase the production of two other proteins, PER and TIM, the levels of which slowly accumulate over time. When enough PER and TIM are made, they inactivate the CLOCK-CYCLE complex, slowing their own production and signaling the end of the cycle. Proteins such as DBT ("Double-Time") that act to fine tune the mechanism have been identified. Recently, variations ...