The transcription factor FOXL2 in ovarian function and dysfunction

Folia Histochem Cytobiol. 2009;47(5):S43-9. doi: 10.2478/v10042-009-0062-7.


The Blepharophimosis Ptosis Epicanthus-inversus Syndrome is a genetic disease characterized by complex eyelid malformations often associated with premature ovarian failure (POF). BPES is basically an autosomal dominant disease, due to mutations in the FOXL2 gene, which encodes a forkhead transcription factor. More than one hundred mutations of FOXL2 have been described to date. In agreement with the BPES phenotype, FOXL2 is expressed (though not exclusively) in the developing eyelids and in fetal and adult ovaries. Two mouse knock-out models have been produced. They recapitulate the BPES phenotype and have provided insights into the pathology. Loss-of-function mutations in FOXL2 are predicted to lead to BPES and POF, while hypomorphic mutations might lead to BPES without ovarian dysfunction. However, exceptions to the genotype-phenotype correlation have been described. To better understand the pathogenic effect of these mutations it is crucial to study the normal regulation of FOXL2 and its targets. We briefly address these aspects in this review and hope that basic research around FOXL2 will eventually lead to uncover new therapeutic avenues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency*


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors