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Free Content Molecular approaches towards the isolation of sleep-related genes

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Behavioural genetics is one of the most enticing fields in modern biology. Owing to straightforward and semiautomated techniques that can be used to measure locomotor activity, circadian rhythmicity is perhaps the best studied behaviour in animals. Thus, during the past decade, five essential circadian clock genes have been isolated in Drosophila, and homologous counterparts for all of these genes have also been found in mammals. As the sleep–wake cycle is under the control of the circadian clock, these circadian master genes are expected to influence sleeping behaviour. However, different vigilance states are regulated by additional mechanisms that also have a genetic basis. In this article we discuss molecular approaches that may prove useful in the search for sleep-related genes.

Keywords: differential mRNA display; representational difference analysis; selective amplification via biotin and restriction; serial analysis of gene expression; sleep

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Molecular Biology, Sciences II, Department of Psychiatry, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland 2: Department of Biochemistry and Neurophysiology Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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