Serum response factor (SRF) is a ubiquitously expressed transcription factor that binds to a DNA cis element known as the CArG box, which is found in the proximal regulatory regions of over 200 experimentally validated target genes. Genetic deletion of SRF is incompatible with life in a variety of animals from different phyla. In mice, loss of SRF throughout the early embryo results in gastrulation defects precluding analyses in individual organ systems. Genetic inactivation studies using conditional or inducible promoters directing the expression of the bacteriophage Cre recombinase have shown a vital role for SRF in such cellular processes as contractility, cell migration, synaptic activity, inflammation, and cell survival. A growing number of experimental and human diseases are associated with changes in SRF expression, suggesting that SRF has a role in the pathogenesis of disease. This review summarizes data from experimental model systems and human pathology where SRF expression is either deliberately or naturally altered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology