The FoxA factors in organogenesis and differentiation

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2010 Oct;20(5):527-32. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2010.06.005. Epub 2010 Jun 28.


The genetic analysis of the Foxa genes in both total and conditional mutant mice has clearly established that organogenesis of multiple systems is controlled by this subfamily of winged helix transcription factors. These discoveries followed the establishment of the conceptional framework of the mechanism of action of the FoxA proteins as 'pioneer factors' that can engage chromatin before other transcription factors. Recent molecular and genomic studies have also shown that FoxA proteins can facilitate binding of several nuclear receptors to their respective targets in a context-dependent manner, greatly increasing the range and importance of FoxA factors in biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-alpha / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-alpha / metabolism*
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Organogenesis*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • Foxa1 protein, mouse
  • Foxa2 protein, mouse
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-alpha
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 3-beta