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Endocr Rev. 2011 Jun;32(3):404-21. doi: 10.1210/er.2010-0021. Epub 2011 Jan 21.

Coup d'Etat: an orphan takes control.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas 77030, USA.


Chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factors (COUP-TFs) belong to the steroid/thyroid hormone receptor superfamily. Cloning of their cDNAs demonstrated the existence of two distinct but related genes: COUP-TFI (EAR-3, NR2F1) and COUP-TFII (ARP-1, NR2F2). They are referred to as orphan receptors because ligands for COUP-TFs have yet to be identified. Since 1998, extensive studies have demonstrated their physiological importance in cell-fate specification, organogenesis, angiogenesis, and metabolism, as well as a variety of diseases. In this article, we will comprehensively review the biological functions of COUP-TFII and its underlying mechanism in various developmental processes and diseases. In addition, we will briefly summarize some of the current findings of COUP-TFI.

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