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Physiol Rev. 2010 Jan;90(1):1-22. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00018.2009.

The Fox genes in the liver: from organogenesis to functional integration.

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Department of Genetics and Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6145, USA.


Formation and function of the liver are highly controlled, essential processes. Multiple signaling pathways and transcriptional regulatory networks cooperate in this complex system. The evolutionarily conserved FOX, for Forkhead bOX, class of transcriptional regulators is critical to many aspects of liver development and function. The FOX proteins are small, mostly monomeric DNA binding factors containing the so-called winged helix DNA binding motif that distinguishes them from other classes of transcription factors. We discuss the biochemical and genetic roles of Foxa, Foxl1, Foxm1, and Foxo, as these have been shown to regulate many processes throughout the life of the organ, controlling both formation and function of the liver.

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