Transcription factors regulate formation and function of the heart, and perturbation of transcription factor expression and regulation disrupts normal heart structure and function. Multiple mechanisms regulate the level and locus-specific activity of transcription factors, including transcription, translation, subcellular localization, posttranslational modifications, and context-dependent interactions with other transcription factors, chromatin remodeling enzymes, and epigenetic regulators. The zinc finger transcription factor GATA4 is among the best-studied cardiac transcriptional factors. This review focuses on molecular mechanisms that regulate GATA4 transcriptional activity in the cardiovascular system, providing a framework to investigate and understand the molecular regulation of cardiac gene transcription by other transcription factors.
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