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Keywords:

  • jumonji;
  • ARID transcription factor family;
  • cardiac development;
  • gene trap technology;
  • transcription factors

Abstract

Cardiac development is a complex biological process requiring the integration of cell specification, differentiation, migration, proliferation, and morphogenesis. Although significant progress has been made recently in understanding the molecular basis of cardiac development, mechanisms of transcriptional control of cardiac development remain largely unknown. In search for the developmentally important genes, the jumonji gene (jmj) was identified by gene trap technology and characterized as a critical nuclear factor for mouse embryonic development. Jmj has been shown to play important roles in cardiovascular development, neural tube fusion process, hematopoiesis, and liver development in mouse embryos. The amino acid sequence of the JUMONJI protein (JMJ) reveals that JMJ belongs to the AT-rich interaction domain transcription factor family and more recently has been described as a member of the JMJ transcription factor family. Here, we review the roles of jmj in multiple organ development with a focus on cardiovascular development in mice. Developmental Dynamics 232:21–32, 2005. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.