Developmental Signals - Fox

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A protein transcription factor belonging to the evolutionarily conserved forkhead box (FOX) superfamily.

Draft page.

Factor Links: AMH | hCG | BMP | sonic hedgehog | bHLH | HOX | FGF | FOX | Hippo | LIM | Nanog | NGF | Nodal | Notch | PAX | retinoic acid | SIX | Slit2/Robo1 | SOX | TBX | TGF-beta | VEGF | WNT | Category:Molecular

Some Recent Findings

  • Immunohistochemical expression analysis of the human fetal lower urogenital tract[1] "We have studied the ontogeny of the developing human Male and Female urogenital tracts from 9 weeks (indifferent stage) to 16 weeks (advanced sex differentiation) of gestation by immunohistochemistry on mid-sagittal sections. Sixteen human fetal pelvises were serial sectioned in the sagittal plane and stained with antibodies to epithelial, muscle, nerve, proliferation and hormone receptor markers. Key findings are: (1) The corpus cavernosum in males and females extends into the glans penis and clitoris, respectively, during the ambisexual stage (9 weeks) and thus appears to be an androgen-independent event. (2) The entire human male (and female) urethra is endodermal in origin based on the presence of FOXA1, KRT 7, uroplakin, and the absence of KRT10 staining. The endoderm of the urethra interfaces with ectodermal epidermis at the site of the urethral meatus. (3) The surface epithelium of the verumontanum is endodermal in origin (FOXA1-positive) with a possible contribution of Pax2-positive epithelial cells implying additional input from the Wolffian duct epithelium. (4) Prostatic ducts arise from the endodermal (FOXA1-positive) urogenital sinus epithelium near the verumontanum. (5) Immunohistochemical staining of mid-sagittal and para-sagittal sections revealed the external anal sphincter, levator ani, bulbospongiosus muscle and the anatomic relationships between these developing skeletal muscles and organs of the Male and Female reproductive tracts."
  • Tbx1 is regulated by forkhead proteins in the secondary heart field.[2] "Transcriptional regulation in a tissue-specific and quantitative manner is essential for developmental events, including those involved in cardiovascular morphogenesis. Tbx1 is a T-box-containing transcription factor that is responsible for many of the defects observed in 22q11 deletion syndrome in humans. Tbx1 is expressed in the secondary heart field (SHF) and is essential for cardiac outflow tract (OFT) development....These results suggest that Fox proteins are involved in most, if not all, Tbx1 expression domains and that Tbx1 marks a subset of SHF-derived cells, particularly those that uniquely contribute to the right-sided outflow tract and proximal pulmonary artery." (More? TBX | cardiovascular )
More recent papers  
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Search term: Fox

Older papers  
These papers originally appeared in the Some Recent Findings table, but as that list grew in length have now been shuffled down to this collapsible table.

See also the Discussion Page for other references listed by year and References on this current page.

Transcription Factor


Associated with defects in each Fox protein or their signaling pathway.


  1. Shen J, Isaacson D, Cao M, Sinclair A, Cunha GR & Baskin L. (2018). Immunohistochemical expression analysis of the human fetal lower urogenital tract. Differentiation , 103, 100-119. PMID: 30287094 DOI.
  2. Maeda J, Yamagishi H, McAnally J, Yamagishi C & Srivastava D. (2006). Tbx1 is regulated by forkhead proteins in the secondary heart field. Dev. Dyn. , 235, 701-10. PMID: 16444712 DOI.

Search Bookshelf Fox


Golson ML & Kaestner KH. (2016). Fox transcription factors: from development to disease. Development , 143, 4558-4570. PMID: 27965437 DOI.

Ramezani A, Nikravesh H & Faghihloo E. (2019). The roles of FOX proteins in virus-associated cancers. J. Cell. Physiol. , 234, 3347-3361. PMID: 30362516 DOI.

Fortin J, Ongaro L, Li Y, Tran S, Lamba P, Wang Y, Zhou X & Bernard DJ. (2015). Minireview: Activin Signaling in Gonadotropes: What Does the FOX say… to the SMAD?. Mol. Endocrinol. , 29, 963-77. PMID: 25942106 DOI.

Thackray VG. (2014). Fox tales: regulation of gonadotropin gene expression by forkhead transcription factors. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. , 385, 62-70. PMID: 24099863 DOI.


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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, September 24) Embryology Developmental Signals - Fox. Retrieved from

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