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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2010 Jul 31;62(9-10):876-84. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2010.06.004. Epub 2010 Jul 8.

Mammalian circadian clock system: Molecular mechanisms for pharmaceutical and medical sciences.

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Department of Systems Biology, Kyoto University, Japan.


An internal circadian (from the Latin "circa" meaning "about" and "dien" meaning "day") clock has been found across kingdoms of life, a testimony that circadian rhythms are a basic feature of life on earth. Physiologically relevant circadian time is generated at the level of transcription-(post)translation feedback loop of clock genes, which machinery can be found in most cells throughout the body. Lesions of the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) abolish clock oscillations in the body, indicating thereby that rhythm generation is a hierarchial system with the SCN at the top. Disrupting this exquisitely harmonious system causes abnormal expression of cell-type specific clock-controlled genes, as revealed by the etiology of life-style related diseases such as hypertension.

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