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J Cell Physiol. 1999 May;179(2):126-33.

POU family transcription factors in the nervous system.

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  • Department of Molecular Pathology, Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, University College London, United Kingdom.


The POU (Pit-Oct-Unc) family of transcription factors was originally defined on the basis of a common DNA binding domain in the mammalian factors Pit-1, Oct-1, and Oct-2 as well as the nematode protein Unc-86. Subsequently, a number of other POU family factors have been identified in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Many of these original and subsequently isolated members of the family have been shown to play critical roles in the development and functioning of the nervous system. To exemplify this, studies are described involving the functional characterisation of the Oct-2 factor, one of the original POU factors, and of the Brn-3 factors, which were isolated subsequently and are the mammalian factors most closely related to Unc-86.

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