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Oncogene December 20, 2001; 20 (58): 8342-57.

Vertebrate hairy and Enhancer of split related proteins: transcriptional repressors regulating cellular differentiation and embryonic patterning.

Davis RL , Turner DL .

The basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins are a superfamily of DNA-binding transcription factors that regulate numerous biological processes in both invertebrates and vertebrates. One family of bHLH transcriptional repressors is related to the Drosophila hairy and Enhancer-of-split proteins. These repressors contain a tandem arrangement of the bHLH domain and an adjacent sequence known as the Orange domain, so we refer to these proteins as bHLH-Orange or bHLH-O proteins. Phylogenetic analysis reveals the existence of four bHLH-O subfamilies, with distinct, evolutionarily conserved features. A principal function of bHLH-O proteins is to bind to specific DNA sequences and recruit transcriptional corepressors to inhibit target gene expression. However, it is likely that bHLH-O proteins repress transcription by additional mechanisms as well. Many vertebrate bHLH-O proteins are effectors of the Notch signaling pathway, and bHLH-O proteins are involved in regulating neurogenesis, vasculogenesis, mesoderm segmentation, myogenesis, and T lymphocyte development. In this review, we discuss mechanisms of action and biological roles for the vertebrate bHLH-O proteins, as well as some of the unresolved questions about the functions and regulation of these proteins during development and in human disease.

PubMed ID: 11840327
Article link: Oncogene

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: hes1 hes5.10 hes5.3 notch1
GO keywords: T cell differentiation [+]

Disease Ontology terms: leukemia [+]