- Publication date : 2008-03-28
Viger RS, Guittot SM, Anttonen M, Wilson DB, Heikinheimo M. Role of the GATA family of transcription factors in endocrine development, function, and disease. Mol. Endocrinol. 2008;22:781-98. doi: 10.1210/me.2007-0513. PubMed PMID: 18174356.
animals endocrine system endocrine system diseases gata transcription factors humans models, biological protein isoforms transcription, genetic
The WGATAR motif is a common nucleotide sequence found in the transcriptional regulatory regions of numerous genes. In vertebrates, these motifs are bound by one of six factors (GATA1 to GATA6) that constitute the GATA family of transcriptional regulatory proteins. Although originally considered for their roles in hematopoietic cells and the heart, GATA factors are now known to be expressed in a wide variety of tissues where they act as critical regulators of cell-specific gene expression. This includes multiple endocrine organs such as the pituitary, pancreas, adrenals, and especially the gonads. Insights into the functional roles played by GATA factors in adult organ systems have been hampered by the early embryonic lethality associated with the different Gata-null mice. This is now being overcome with the generation of tissue-specific knockout models and other knockdown strategies. These approaches, together with the increasing number of human GATA-related pathologies have greatly broadened the scope of GATA-dependent genes and, importantly, have shown that GATA action is not necessarily limited to early development. This has been particularly evident in endocrine organs where GATA factors appear to contribute to the transcription of multiple hormone-encoding genes. This review provides an overview of the GATA family of transcription factors as they relate to endocrine function and disease.