The transcription factor PAX6 is involved in the development of the eye and pancreatic islets, besides being associated with sleep-wake cycles. Here, we investigated a point mutation in the RED subdomain of PAX6, previously described in a human patient, to present a comprehensive study of a homozygous Pax6 mutation in the context of adult mammalian metabolism and circadian rhythm. Pax6(Leca2) mice lack appropriate retinal structures for light perception and do not display normal daily rhythmic changes in energy metabolism. Despite beta cell dysfunction and decreased insulin secretion, mutant mice have normal glucose tolerance. This is associated with reduced hepatic glucose production possibly due to altered circadian variation in expression of clock and metabolic genes, thereby evading hyperglycemia. Hence, our findings show that while the RED subdomain is important for beta cell functional maturity, the Leca2 mutation impacts peripheral metabolism via loss of circadian rhythm, thus revealing pleiotropic effects of PAX6. Nirav Chhabra et al. characterize adult mice carrying a homozygous mutation in Pax6 that was identified in a patient with foveal hypoplasia. They find that the Pax6 point mutation has pleiotropic effects, including defects in the mouse retinal structures, loss of the optic nerve, changes in energy metabolism and circadian rhythms, and dysregulation of genes expressed in the pancreas.