The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 53: 29 - 36 (2009)

Vol 53, Issue 1

Ocular forkhead transcription factors: seeing eye to eye

Open Access | Review | Published: 1 December 2008

Holly E. Moose1, Lisa E. Kelly2, Srivamsi Nekkalapudi2 and Heithem M. El-Hodiri*,1,2,3

1Integrated Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, 2Center for Molecular and Human Genetics, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and 3Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA


Forkhead transcription factors comprise a large family of proteins with diverse functions during development. Recently, there has been accumulating evidence that several members of this family of proteins play an important role in the development of the vertebrate retina. Here, we summarize the cumulative data which demonstrates the integral role that forkhead factors play in cell cycle control of retinal precursors, as well as in cell fate determination, during retinal development. The expression patterns for 14 retinal expressed forkhead transcription factors are presented with an emphasis on comparing the expression profiles across species. The functional data regarding forkhead gene products expressed within the retina are discussed. As presented, these data suggest that forkhead gene products contribute to the complex regulation of proliferation and differentiation of retinal precursors during vertebrate eye development.


forkhead, retina, eye development, progenitor cell

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