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Annu Rev Physiol. 2006;68:97-121.

Transcription factors and congenital heart defects.

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Division of Cardiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.


Although there have been important advances in diagnostic modalities and therapeutic strategies for congenital heart defects (CHD), these malformations still lead to significant morbidity and mortality in the human population. Over the past 10 years, characterization of the genetic causes of CHD has begun to elucidate some of the molecular causes of these defects. Linkage analysis and candidate-gene approaches have been used to identify gene mutations that are associated with both familial and sporadic cases of CHD. Complementation of the human studies with developmental studies in mouse models provides information for the roles of these genes in normal development as well as indications for disease pathogenesis. Biochemical analysis of these gene mutations has provided further insight into the molecular effects of these genetic mutations. Here we review genetic, developmental, and biochemical studies of six cardiac transcription factors that have been identified as genetic causes for CHD in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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