Molecular mechanism of chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factor (COUP-TF) actions

Keio J Med. 2003 Sep;52(3):174-81. doi: 10.2302/kjm.52.174.


Chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factors (COUP-TFs) are one of the most characterized orphan receptors of the steroid/thyroid hormone receptor superfamily. COUP-TFs play important roles in the regulation of organogenesis, neurogenesis, and cellular differentiation during embryonic development. COUP-TFs were generally considered to be repressors of transcription, however, there are growing evidences that COUP-TFs can function as transcription activators. Here we will review the molecular mechanism of COUP-TFs as repressors and activators. Also, we will review the known biological function of COUP-TFI during development and differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Binding, Competitive
  • COUP Transcription Factors
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Receptors, Steroid*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • COUP Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Transcription Factors
  • DNA