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since 01/2001:

transcription factor 21 OKDB#: 2586
 Symbols: TCF21 Species: human
 Synonyms: POD1, bHLHa23  Locus: 6q23.2 in Homo sapiens

For retrieval of Nucleotide and Amino Acid sequences please go to: OMIM Entrez Gene
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DNA Microarrays
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General Comment Single-Cell Transcriptomic Atlas of Primate Ovarian Aging. Wang S et al. (2020) Molecular mechanisms of ovarian aging and female age-related fertility decline remain unclear. We surveyed the single-cell transcriptomic landscape of ovaries from young and aged non-human primates (NHPs) and identified seven ovarian cell types with distinct gene-expression signatures, including oocyte and six types of ovarian somatic cells. In-depth dissection of gene-expression dynamics of oocytes revealed four subtypes at sequential and stepwise developmental stages. Further analysis of cell-type-specific aging-associated transcriptional changes uncovered the disturbance of antioxidant signaling specific to early-stage oocytes and granulosa cells, indicative of oxidative damage as a crucial factor in ovarian functional decline with age. Additionally, inactivated antioxidative pathways, increased reactive oxygen species, and apoptosis were observed in granulosa cells from aged women. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of the cell-type-specific mechanisms underlying primate ovarian aging at single-cell resolution, revealing new diagnostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for age-related human ovarian disorders. This gene is a marker for stromal cells.//////////////////

NCBI Summary: TCF21 encodes a transcription factor of the basic helix-loop-helix family. The TCF21 product is mesoderm specific, and expressed in embryonic epicardium, mesenchyme-derived tissues of lung, gut, gonad, and both mesenchymal and glomerular epithelial cells in the kidney. Two transcript variants encoding the same protein have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
General function DNA binding, Transcription factor
Cellular localization Nuclear
Ovarian function Germ cell development
Expression regulated by
Ovarian localization Primordial Germ Cell
Follicle stages
Mutations 1 mutations

Species: mouse
Mutation name: None
type: null mutation
fertility: infertile - ovarian defect
Comment: Disrupted gonadogenesis and male-to-female sex reversal in Pod1 knockout mice. Cui S, et al . Congenital defects in genital and/or gonadal development occur in 1 in 1000 humans, but the molecular basis for these defects in most cases remains undefined. We show that the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Pod1 (capsulin/epicardin/Tcf21) is essential for normal development of the testes and ovaries, and hence for sexual differentiation. The gonads of Pod1 knockout (KO) mice were markedly hypoplastic, and the urogenital tracts of both XX and XY mice remained indistinguishable throughout embryogenesis. Within Pod1 KO gonads, the number of cells expressing the cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (Scc) was increased markedly. Biochemical and genetic approaches demonstrated that Pod1 transcriptionally represses steroidogenic factor 1 (Sf1/Nr5a1/Ad4BP), an orphan nuclear receptor that regulates the expression of multiple genes (including Scc) that mediate sexual differentiation. Our results establish that Pod1 is essential for gonadal development, and place it in a transcriptional network that orchestrates cell fate decisions in gonadal progenitors.

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created: Aug. 8, 2004, 6:30 a.m. by: hsueh   email:
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last update: Feb. 6, 2020, 11:11 a.m. by: hsueh    email:

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