belongs to the forkhead family of transcription factors, which is characterized by a distinct forkhead domain. The protein encoded functions as a lens-specific transcription factor and plays an important role in vertebrate lens formation. Mutations in this gene are associated with anterior segment mesenchymal dysgenesis and congenital primary aphakia.
By in situ hybridization, they detected Foxe3 expression in the developing eye around embryonic day 9.5 at the start of lens placode induction. Expression increased as the lens placode was formed and was confined to the lens vesicle as it detached from the surface ectoderm. As the posterior cells of the lens fiber began to differentiate, expression was restricted to the undifferentiated cells covering the anterior surface of the lens.