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T-cell factor

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A family of transcription factors (lymphoid enhancer-binding factor (LEF), LEF/TCFs) that are important in the wnt/β-*catenin signalling cascade. The nomenclature is very confusing: TCF1 (T-cell specific transcription factor) is officially TCF7 (transcription factor 7) and is actually found in many tissues, not just T cells. The ‘official’ TCF1 (transcription factor 1) is hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 (HNF1, a homeobox transcription factor involved in regulating liver-specific genes and mutated in maturity onset diabetes of the young. TCF1α (LEF1) is expressed in pre-B and -T cells and mutations are associated with sebaceous tumours. TCF4 (T-cell transcription factor 4, TCF7-like 2) is implicated in blood glucose homeostasis. Activation of various genes by the β-catenin/TCF4 complex is a key step in tumorigenesis and variations in the TCF4 gene are associated with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.

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