About this Research Topic
TonEBP/NFAT5 is the most recently described member of Rel family of transcription factors including NF-κB and NFAT1-4, which have profound biological importance in normal physiology and disease. TonEBP/NFAT5 was initially identified as an osmosensitive transcription factor in tissues that experience large fluxuations in tonicity, such as the renal medulla. In this kidney region, TonEBP/NFAT5 is a central regulator of the urinary concentrating process and osmodaptation of renal medullary cells. The observation that TonEBP/NFAT5 is expressed in virtually all tissues suggests however that its function is not limited to the renal medulla. Indeed, recent evidence indicates critical roles of TonEBP/NFAT5-dependent gene regulation in various tissues.
A variety of TonEBP/NFAT5 target genes have been identified during the recent years that are not directly involved in cellular osmoadaptation. These include genes involved in embryogenesis and development, inflammation, proliferation, hepatic detoxification, extracellular matrix production, and others. In addition, various tonicity-independent stimuli have been identified as regulators of TonEBP/NFAT5 expression and activity, that play important roles in pathophysiological settings.
Our understanding of the role of TonEBP/NFAT5 in normal physiology and in pathophysiology is currently greatly expanding. Particularly, it is becoming increasingly clear that TonEBP/NFAT5 is a crucial transcriptional activator in non-renal cells and tissues. This Research Topic aims to focus on most recent findings on regulation of TonEBP/NFAT5 expression and activity, and on novel data dealing with the role of TonEBP/NFAT5 in disease. Submissions as original reports covering experimental studies and/or succinct reviews which highlight these issues are highly encouraged.
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