T-box transcription factors containing the common DNA-binding domain T-box contribute to the organization of multiple tissues in vertebrates and invertebrates. In mammals, 17 T-box genes are divided into five subfamilies depending on their amino acid homology. The proper distribution and expression of individual T-box transcription factors in different tissues enable regulation of the proliferation and differentiation of tissue-specific stem cells and progenitor cells in a suitable time schedule for tissue organization. Consequently, uncontrollable expressions of T-box genes induce abnormal tissue organization, and eventually cause various diseases with malformation and malfunction of tissues and organs. Furthermore, some T-box transcription factors are essential for maintaining embryonic stem cell pluripotency, improving the quality of induced pluripotent stem cells, and inducing cell-lineage conversion of differentiated cells. These lines of evidence indicate fundamental roles of T-box transcription factors in tissue organization and stem cell properties, and suggest that these transcription factors will be useful for developing therapeutic approaches in regenerative medicine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology