SoxF genes: Key players in the development of the cardio-vascular system.
Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.
SoxF genes (Sox7, Sox17 and Sox18) encode a group of transcription factors that have a pivotal role in cardio-vascular development. SOXF factors orchestrate endothelial cell fate or direct cell differentiation in developing heart, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. Their roles are highly conserved throughout animal evolution. SOXF activity is finely tuned with a variety of cell type-specific co-factors and partner proteins to effect transcription of genes critical for endothelial cell phenotype and function. Because SOXF factors play a central role in cardiogenesis, vasculogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, SOXF gene mutations figure prominently in the aetiology of human vascular disease.