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GATA factors in vertebrate heart development and disease

  • Alison Brewer (a1) and John Pizzey (a2)


Vertebrate heart formation is dependent upon complex hierarchical gene regulatory networks, which effect both the specification and differentiation of cardiomyocytes and subsequently cardiac morphogenesis. GATA-4, -5 and -6 comprise an evolutionarily conserved subfamily of transcription factors, which are expressed within the precardiac mesoderm from early stages in its specification and continue to be expressed within the adult heart. We review here the functional roles of individual GATA transcription factors in cardiac development, normal homeostasis and disease. We also review the cellular mechanisms employed to regulate the expression and downstream targets of the different GATA factors.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author: John Pizzey, Wolfson Centre for Age-related Diseases, King's College London, Hodgkin Building, Guy's Campus, London, SE1 1UL, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 6461; Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 6569,; E-mail:


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