GATA factors are unique transcription factors with conserved DNA-binding domains. They serve diverse roles in embryogenesis, cell differentiation, regulation of tissue-specific genes, and carcinogenesis. The subfamily GATA-4, -5, and -6 are highly expressed in endoderm-derived organs and regulate multiple gut-specific genes. Multiple studies have analyzed the role of GATA factors in gastrointestinal (GI) malignancy, such as those of the stomach, pancreas, and colon, and premalignant lesions such as Barrett's esophagus. The GATA factors appear to have distinct roles in regulating key genes involved in GI malignancy. Understanding the precise role of GATA factors in malignancy may lead to the development of effective molecular targets for cancer therapy.
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