GATA transcription factors in adrenal development and tumors

Helka Parviainen, Sanne Kiiveri, Malgorzata Bielinska, Nafis Rahman, Ilpo T. Huhtaniemi, David B. Wilson, Markku Heikinheimo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Of the six GATA transcription factors, GATA-4 and GATA-6 are expressed in the mouse and human adrenal with distinct developmental profiles. GATA-4 is confined to the fetal cortex, i.e. to the less differentiated proliferating cells, while GATA-6 is expressed both in the fetal and adult adrenal. In vitro, GATA-4 regulates inhibin-α and steroidogenic factor-1 implicated in normal adrenal function. GATA-6 probably has roles in the development and differentiation of adrenocortical cells, and in the regulation of steroidogenesis. GATA-4 expression is dramatically upregulated and GATA-6 downregulated in gonadotropin dependent mouse adrenocortical tumors. This is accompanied by the appearance of luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR). In vitro, GATA-4 transactivates LHR promoter, and gonadotropins upregulate GATA-4 levels. Human adrenal tumors occasionally express GATA-4, whereas GATA-6 levels are usually lower than normal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Gonadectomy
  • Inhibin
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Metaplasia
  • Steroidogenesis


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