The ZEB2 gene provides instructions for making a protein that plays a critical role in the formation of many organs and tissues before birth. This protein is a transcription factor, which means that it attaches (binds) to specific regions of DNA and helps control the activity of particular genes. Researchers have found that the ZEB2 protein is involved in chemical signaling pathways that regulate early growth and development.
The ZEB2 protein is active in many types of cells before birth. It appears to be particularly important for the development of 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.
The ZEB2 protein is also active in cells that are not derived from the neural crest. For example, this protein is involved in the development of the digestive tract, skeletal muscles, kidneys, and other organs.
Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes
More than 180 mutations in the ZEB2 gene have been identified in people with Mowat-Wilson syndrome. These mutations almost always inactivate one copy of the ZEB2 gene. In some cases, the entire gene is deleted. In other cases, mutations within the gene lead to the production of an abnormally short, nonfunctional version of the ZEB2 protein.
A shortage of the ZEB2 protein disrupts the formation of many organs and tissues before birth. The abnormal development of neural crest-derived structures, such as the nervous system and facial features, underlie many of the signs and symptoms of Mowat-Wilson syndrome. The role of the ZEB2 protein in the development of nerves that control the digestive tract may help explain why many people with this condition also have Hirschsprung disease, an intestinal disorder that causes severe constipation, intestinal blockage, and enlargement of the colon.More About This Health Condition
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Other Names for This Gene
- Smad interacting-protein 1
- Smad-interacting protein 1
- zinc finger E-box-binding protein 2
- zinc finger homeobox 1b
Additional Information & Resources
Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry
Scientific Articles on PubMed
Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM
- Adam MP, Conta J, Bean LJH. Mowat-Wilson Syndrome. 2007 Mar 28 [updated 2019 Jul 25]. In: Adam MP, Mirzaa GM, Pagon RA, Wallace SE, Bean LJH, Gripp KW, Amemiya A, editors. GeneReviews(R) [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2023. Available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1412/ Citation on PubMed
- Bassez G, Camand OJ, Cacheux V, Kobetz A, Dastot-Le Moal F, Marchant D, Catala M, Abitbol M, Goossens M. Pleiotropic and diverse expression of ZFHX1B gene transcripts during mouse and human development supports the various clinical manifestations of the "Mowat-Wilson" syndrome. Neurobiol Dis. 2004 Mar;15(2):240-50. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2003.10.004. Citation on PubMed
- Dastot-Le Moal F, Wilson M, Mowat D, Collot N, Niel F, Goossens M. ZFHX1B mutations in patients with Mowat-Wilson syndrome. Hum Mutat. 2007 Apr;28(4):313-21. doi: 10.1002/humu.20452. Citation on PubMed
- Garavelli L, Mainardi PC. Mowat-Wilson syndrome. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2007 Oct 24;2:42. doi: 10.1186/1750-1172-2-42. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
- Ishihara N, Yamada K, Yamada Y, Miura K, Kato J, Kuwabara N, Hara Y, Kobayashi Y, Hoshino K, Nomura Y, Mimaki M, Ohya K, Matsushima M, Nitta H, Tanaka K, Segawa M, Ohki T, Ezoe T, Kumagai T, Onuma A, Kuroda T, Yoneda M, Yamanaka T, Saeki M, Segawa M, Saji T, Nagaya M, Wakamatsu N. Clinical and molecular analysis of Mowat-Wilson syndrome associated with ZFHX1B mutations and deletions at 2q22-q24.1. J Med Genet. 2004 May;41(5):387-93. doi: 10.1136/jmg.2003.016154. No abstract available. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
- Mowat DR, Wilson MJ, Goossens M. Mowat-Wilson syndrome. J Med Genet. 2003 May;40(5):305-10. doi: 10.1136/jmg.40.5.305. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
- Saunders CJ, Zhao W, Ardinger HH. Comprehensive ZEB2 gene analysis for Mowat-Wilson syndrome in a North American cohort: a suggested approach to molecular diagnostics. Am J Med Genet A. 2009 Nov;149A(11):2527-31. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.33067. Citation on PubMed
- Yamada Y, Nomura N, Yamada K, Matsuo M, Suzuki Y, Sameshima K, Kimura R, Yamamoto Y, Fukushi D, Fukuhara Y, Ishihara N, Nishi E, Imataka G, Suzumura H, Hamano S, Shimizu K, Iwakoshi M, Ohama K, Ohta A, Wakamoto H, Kajita M, Miura K, Yokochi K, Kosaki K, Kuroda T, Kosaki R, Hiraki Y, Saito K, Mizuno S, Kurosawa K, Okamoto N, Wakamatsu N. The spectrum of ZEB2 mutations causing the Mowat-Wilson syndrome in Japanese populations. Am J Med Genet A. 2014 Aug;164A(8):1899-908. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.36551. Epub 2014 Apr 8. Erratum In: Am J Med Genet A. 2015 Jun;167(6):1428. Citation on PubMed
- Zweier C, Thiel CT, Dufke A, Crow YJ, Meinecke P, Suri M, Ala-Mello S, Beemer F, Bernasconi S, Bianchi P, Bier A, Devriendt K, Dimitrov B, Firth H, Gallagher RC, Garavelli L, Gillessen-Kaesbach G, Hudgins L, Kaariainen H, Karstens S, Krantz I, Mannhardt A, Medne L, Mucke J, Kibaek M, Krogh LN, Peippo M, Rittinger O, Schulz S, Schelley SL, Temple IK, Dennis NR, Van der Knaap MS, Wheeler P, Yerushalmi B, Zenker M, Seidel H, Lachmeijer A, Prescott T, Kraus C, Lowry RB, Rauch A. Clinical and mutational spectrum of Mowat-Wilson syndrome. Eur J Med Genet. 2005 Apr-Jun;48(2):97-111. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2005.01.003. Epub 2005 Feb 25. Citation on PubMed
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