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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2014 Mar 25;385(1-2):62-70. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2013.09.034. Epub 2013 Oct 4.

Fox tales: regulation of gonadotropin gene expression by forkhead transcription factors.

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Department of Reproductive Medicine and Center for Reproductive Science and Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, United States. Electronic address:


Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are produced by pituitary gonadotrope cells and are required for steroidogenesis, the maturation of ovarian follicles, ovulation, and spermatogenesis. Synthesis of LH and FSH is tightly regulated by a complex network of signaling pathways activated by hormones including gonadotropin-releasing hormone, activin and sex steroids. Members of the forkhead box (FOX) transcription factor family have been shown to act as important regulators of development, homeostasis and reproduction. In this review, we focus on the role of four specific FOX factors (FOXD1, FOXL2, FOXO1 and FOXP3) in gonadotropin hormone production and discuss our current understanding of the molecular function of these factors derived from studies in mouse genetic and cell culture models.


Follicle-stimulating hormone; Forkhead; Gonadotrope; Luteinizing hormone; Pituitary; Transcription

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