Over the past year, vertebrate GATA factors have been found to participate directly in several signal-transduction pathways. Smad3, phosphorylated by TGF-beta signalling, interacts with GATA3 to induce differentiation of T helper cells. Hypertrophic stimuli act through RhoA GTPase and ROCK kinase to activate GATA4 in cardiac myocytes. In the liver, GATA4 is elevated by BMP and FGF signalling, and is able to bind to chromatin targets. Invertebrate GATA factors play a central role in specifying the mesendoderm.