Transcription factor, Brachyury (IPR002070)

Short name: TF_Brachyury

Overlapping homologous superfamilies


Family relationships


The T-box gene family is an ancient group of putative transcription factors that appear to play a critical role in the development of all animal species.

These genes were uncovered on the basis of similarity to the DNA binding domain [PMID: 9504043] of murine Brachyury (T) gene product, which similarity is the defining feature of the family. The Brachyury gene is named for its phenotype, which was identified 70 years ago as a mutant mouse strain with a short blunted tail. The gene, and its paralogues, have become a well-studied model for the family, and hence much of what is known about the T-box family is derived from the murine Brachyury gene.

Consistent with its nuclear location, Brachyury protein has a sequence-specific DNA-binding activity and can act as a transcriptional regulator [PMID: 9503012]. Homozygous mutants for the gene undergo extensive developmental anomalies, thus rendering the mutation lethal [PMID: 9395282]. The postulated role of Brachyury is as a transcription factor, regulating the specification and differentiation of posterior mesoderm during gastrulation in a dose-dependent manner [PMID: 9504043].

Common features shared by T-box family members are, DNA-binding and transcriptional regulatory activity, a role in development and conserved expression patterns, most of the known genes in all species being expressed in mesoderm of mesoderm precursors [PMID: 9196325]. Members of the T-box family contain a domain of about 170 to 190 amino acids known as the T-box domain [PMID: 7920656, PMID: 8878690, PMID: 9196325] and which probably binds DNA.

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0006355 regulation of transcription, DNA-templated

Molecular Function

GO:0003700 DNA binding transcription factor activity

Cellular Component

GO:0005634 nucleus

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.