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TFAP2B gene

transcription factor AP-2 beta

Normal Function

The TFAP2B gene provides instructions for making a protein called transcription factor AP-2β. A transcription factor is a protein that attaches (binds) to specific regions of DNA and helps control the activity of particular genes. Transcription factor AP-2β is one of a group of related proteins called AP-2 transcription factors. These proteins regulate genes that help control cell division and the self-destruction of cells that are no longer needed (apoptosis).

Transcription factor AP-2β is involved in development before birth. In particular, this protein is active in the neural crest, which is a group of cells in the early embryo that give rise to many tissues and organs. Neural crest cells migrate to form portions of the nervous system, glands that produce hormones (endocrine glands), pigment cells, smooth muscle and other tissues in the heart, and many tissues in the face and skull. Transcription factor AP-2β also appears to play an important role in the development of the limbs.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Char syndrome

Several variants (also known as mutations) in the TFAP2B gene have been identified in people with Char syndrome. Most of these genetic changes alter the structure of transcription factor AP-2β. More than half of these known variants  alter a region of the protein that is critical for DNA binding. Others occur in an area of the protein that is necessary for regulating gene activity. A few changes in the TFAP2B gene prevent the production of any transcription factor AP-2β. A loss of this protein's function disrupts the normal development of structures derived from the neural crest, including the heart and facial features. Abnormal development of these tissues leads to the major features of Char syndrome.

More About This Health Condition

Other disorders

Studies suggest that several normal variations (polymorphisms) in the TFAP2B gene are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes. People with this disease have high blood sugar levels because the body does not respond correctly to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. This hormone controls how much sugar (in the form of glucose) is passed from the bloodstream into cells to be used as energy. Researchers have proposed that polymorphisms in the TFAP2B gene alter cells' responsiveness to insulin, particularly fat-storing cells (adipocytes).

Although changes in the TFAP2B gene may be associated with type 2 diabetes, a combination of lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors all play a part in determining the risk of this complex disorder.

Other Names for This Gene

  • activating enhancer binding protein 2 beta
  • AP-2B
  • AP2-B
  • AP2-beta
  • MGC21381
  • transcription factor AP-2 beta (activating enhancer binding protein 2 beta)

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Gene and Variant Databases


  • Hilger-Eversheim K, Moser M, Schorle H, Buettner R. Regulatory roles of AP-2 transcription factors in vertebrate development, apoptosis and cell-cycle control. Gene. 2000 Dec 30;260(1-2):1-12. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(00)00454-6. Citation on PubMed
  • Maeda S, Tsukada S, Kanazawa A, Sekine A, Tsunoda T, Koya D, Maegawa H, Kashiwagi A, Babazono T, Matsuda M, Tanaka Y, Fujioka T, Hirose H, Eguchi T, Ohno Y, Groves CJ, Hattersley AT, Hitman GA, Walker M, Kaku K, Iwamoto Y, Kawamori R, Kikkawa R, Kamatani N, McCarthy MI, Nakamura Y. Genetic variations in the gene encoding TFAP2B are associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Hum Genet. 2005;50(6):283-292. doi: 10.1007/s10038-005-0253-9. Epub 2005 Jun 7. Citation on PubMed
  • Mani A, Radhakrishnan J, Farhi A, Carew KS, Warnes CA, Nelson-Williams C, Day RW, Pober B, State MW, Lifton RP. Syndromic patent ductus arteriosus: evidence for haploinsufficient TFAP2B mutations and identification of a linked sleep disorder. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 22;102(8):2975-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0409852102. Epub 2005 Jan 31. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Satoda M, Zhao F, Diaz GA, Burn J, Goodship J, Davidson HR, Pierpont ME, Gelb BD. Mutations in TFAP2B cause Char syndrome, a familial form of patent ductus arteriosus. Nat Genet. 2000 May;25(1):42-6. doi: 10.1038/75578. Citation on PubMed
  • Tsukada S, Tanaka Y, Maegawa H, Kashiwagi A, Kawamori R, Maeda S. Intronic polymorphisms within TFAP2B regulate transcriptional activity and affect adipocytokine gene expression in differentiated adipocytes. Mol Endocrinol. 2006 May;20(5):1104-11. doi: 10.1210/me.2005-0311. Epub 2005 Dec 22. Citation on PubMed
  • Zhao F, Weismann CG, Satoda M, Pierpont ME, Sweeney E, Thompson EM, Gelb BD. Novel TFAP2B mutations that cause Char syndrome provide a genotype-phenotype correlation. Am J Hum Genet. 2001 Oct;69(4):695-703. doi: 10.1086/323410. Epub 2001 Aug 14. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.