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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 1998 Nov;30(11):1153-7.

The Brn-3a transcription factor.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Pathology, Windeyer Institute of Medical Sciences, University College London, UK.


Brn-3a is a member of the POU family of transcription factors which is expressed predominantly in neuronal cells. It exists in two forms, with the long form containing 84 amino acids at the N-terminus which are lacking in the short form. The N-terminal domain unique to the long form allows it to induce expression of the Bcl-2 gene and protect neuronal cells from apoptosis whereas the C-terminal POU domain common to both forms is sufficient for activating a number of other neuronally expressed genes and stimulating neuronal process outgrowth. These effects of Brn-3a suggest that manipulation of its expression by pharmacological or gene therapy procedures may be of benefit in human neurological diseases.

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