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Annu Rev Genet. 2005;39:219-39.

T-box genes in vertebrate development.

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Department of Genetics and Development, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.


The myriad developmental roles served by the T-box family of transcription factor genes defy easy categorization. Present in all metazoans, the T-box genes are involved in early embryonic cell fate decisions, regulation of the development of extraembryonic structures, embryonic patterning, and many aspects of organogenesis. They are unusual in displaying dosage sensitivity in most instances. In humans, mutations in T-box genes are responsible for developmental dysmorphic syndromes, and several T-box genes have been implicated in neoplastic processes. T-box transcription factors function in many different signaling pathways, notably bone morphogenetic protein and fibroblast growth factor pathways. The few downstream target genes that have been identified indicate a wide range of downstream effectors.

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