The orphan nuclear receptor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) plays key roles in endocrine development and function. Initially identified as a positive regulator of the cytochrome P450 steroid hydroxylases, analyses of knockout mice deficient in SF-1 revealed that SF-1 is essential for adrenal and gonadal development, pituitary gonadotropin expression and formation of the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus. Although more limited in scope, analyses of SF-1 in humans similarly have suggested that SF-1 is important for differentiated function in adrenocortical and gonadotrope adenomas. In the hope of extending our understanding of SF-1 function by identifying possible roles of SF-1 in clinical endocrine disorders, we isolated the FTZ-F1 gene encoding human SF-1 and mapped it to chromosome 9q33. In this report, we characterize the sequence and structural organization of the human cDNA and gene encoding SF-1, providing new insights into comparative aspects of SF-1 structure that will facilitate efforts to study the role of this transcription factor in human endocrine disorders.
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