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GATA Transcription Factors

Members of the GATA family of transcription factors share a highly conserved dual zinc finger. The carboxy-terminal zinc finger mediates sequence-specific DNA-binding, while the amino-terminal zinc finger modulates DNA-binding. There is a consensus DNA motif [5'-(A/T)GATA(A/G)-3'] for which these transcription factors are named. The GATA family of transcription factors is involved in a myriad of cellular processes. GATA-1-3 are known as the hematopoietic GATA factors: GATA-1 and GATA-2 are expressed in erythroid precursors, megakaryocytes, eosinophils, and mast cells; GATA-1 alone is expressed in testis; GATA-2 and GATA-3 are expressed in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs); GATA-3 alone is expressed in T-lymphocytes, neurons, kidneys, and the mammary gland. GATA-4-6 are expressed in endoderm- and mesoderm-derived tissue and control heart and lung development. TRPS1, a GATA-type transcription factor with nine zinc fingers, is linked to a variety of functions in cartilage, kidneys, and hair follicles.