The role of transcription factors in atrial fibrillation

Mengchen Zhou, Yuhua Liao, Xin Tu


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a complex disease that results from genetic and environmental factors and their interactions. In recent years, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and family-based linkage analysis have found amounts of genetic variants associated with AF. Some of them lie in coding sequences and thus mediate the encoded proteins, some in non-coding regions and influence the expression of adjacent genes. These variants exert influence on the development of cardiovascular system and normal cardiac electrical activity in different levels, and eventually contribute to the occurrence of AF. Among these affected genes, as a crucial means of transcriptional regulation, several transcription factors play important roles in the pathogenesis of AF. In this review, we will focus on the potential role of PITX2, PRRX1, ZHFX3, TBX5, and NKX2.5 in AF.