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Human Forkhead-Box Gene Family

Related Terms

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Background

  • The human Forkhead-box (FOX) gene family is a set of genes which code for proteins called transcription factors, which play a critical role in directing the activity of many other genes. Transcription factors function by binding to specific regions of DNA and controlling how genes are transcribed. The FOX gene family consists of at least 43 members that have been further subdivided into class one and class two FOX proteins based on certain structural similarities. A letter and a number are used to identify the specific subfamily to which a particular gene belongs. Subfamilies are denoted by a letter (A through R) and the individual genes in these subfamilies are further designated by a number, e.g., FOXD4. The subfamilies A-G, I-L, and Q are grouped under class one while H and M-P are grouped under class two.
  • In general, a gene family comprises a group of genes related by sequence similarity. The genes belonging to the same family provide instructions for making proteins that have a similar function and structure. The classification of individual genes into families helps scientists to understand the structure and function of genes and how they evolved.
  • The FOX gene family provides instructions for making proteins that play a major role in the development/formation of many organs and tissues before birth. FOX proteins regulate particular gene activities in the eyes, lungs, brain, cardiovascular system (relating to heart/blood vessels), digestive system, immune system, and cell cycle. FOX genes also modulate a wide spectrum of biological processes.
  • The loss of function of FOX family genes due to mutation (a permanent variation in the DNA sequence of the gene) plays a key role in the pathogenesis (origin and development) of several diseases including diabetes mellitus, and cancer, as well as a number of other, congenital disorders (disorders present at birth).

Methods

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Research

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Implications

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Limitations

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Safety

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Future Research

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.