Research

Cell culture and microscopy

The GATA factors comprise a conserved family of zinc finger proteins recognizing a consensus GATA sequence in the promoters and enhancers of a variety of genes. The six known GATA factors are divided into two subgroups based on their sequence homology and expression patterns. The first three, (GATA1/2/3), are mainly expressed in blood-forming cells and are essential for hematopoiesis. The rest, (GATA4/5/6), are expressed in the heart, gut epithelium, yolk sac endoderm, and several endocrine organs, including gonads.

 

During the past decade, we and others have connected GATA4 and GATA6  to normal developmental and function of diverse cell types, such as cardiomyocytes, hepatoblasts, testicular Leydig and Sertoli cells, ovarian granulosa cells and adrenocortical cells. In addition, GATA mutations have been connected to human disease in patients with congenital heart disease, diaphragm hernia, and gonadal dysfunctions, including infertility and granulosa cell tumors (GCT).

Research focuses

  • GATA4 in granulosa cell tumor (GCT) biology
  • GATA4 in male and female fertility
  • GATA4 in adrenal development
  • GATA4 in pathogenesis of hepatoblastoma
  • GATA4 in congenital diaphragmatic hernia

 

Lab and portrait photos by Kari Sarkkinen