COUP-TF orphan nuclear receptors in development and differentiation

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2000 Sep;57(10):1388-98. doi: 10.1007/PL00000624.


Chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter transcription factors (COUP-TFs) are orphan members of the steroid/thyroid hormone receptor superfamily. They have been shown to negatively regulate the activation function of vitamin D, thyroid hormone, retinoic acid, the retinoid X and the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. COUP-TF genes have been cloned from many species and their sequences are exceptionally conserved through evolution. This suggests a critical role for the COUP-TFs in these organisms. Indeed, the Drosophila COUP-TF, seven-up and mouse COUP-TFII are essential for development and differentiation during embryogenesis. Our current understanding of COUP-TF function suggests that they serve vital physiological roles during development despite extensive overlaps of expression. This defines the COUP-TFs as important factors in regulation of development and differentiation in multiple organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COUP Transcription Factor II
  • COUP Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Steroid / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • COUP Transcription Factor II
  • COUP Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • NR2F2 protein, human
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Transcription Factors