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Trends Cardiovasc Med. 1997 Apr;7(3):75-83. doi: 10.1016/S1050-1738(97)00010-8.

Regulation of Cardiac Gene Expression by GATA-4/5/6.

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Department of Developmental and Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


The identification of nuclear regulatory proteins provides great promise for advancing our understanding of the transcriptional control of cardiac gene expression. Three new members of the GATA family of DNA-binding transcription factors were recently discovered and designated GATA-4/5/6. On the basis of expression patterns, the identification of candidate cardiac target genes and the current understanding of how other GATA factors function in the hematopoietic system, it appears that these genes are important for regulating programs of cardiac development and terminal differentiation. Indeed, a functional role for GATA-4/5/6 in activating the cardiac differentiation program was demonstrated in cell culture and embryonic systems; however, recent results obtained in embryonic stem (ES) cells with a targeted mutation of GATA-4 raise new questions regarding specificity of action among the three genes. The future direction of research in the field is discussed; understanding GATA-4/5/6 function and regulation is likely to provide important insight into the specification and/or differentiation of cardiac progenitors, development and morphogenesis of the heart, and regulation of cardiac-specific gene expression. (Trends Cardiovasc Med 1997;7:75-83).

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