The cDNA encodes a predicted 449-amino acid protein that is highly conserved among vertebrates and includes 2 adjacent zinc finger/basic domains characteristic of the GATA factor family. The gene is transcribed in a pattern overlapping that of GATA4. Transcripts for both of these genes are prominent in heart, pancreas, and ovary, but only GATA6 mRNA was found in lung and liver.
transcripts were also detected in cultures of human and rat vascular smooth muscle cells. In these cells, GATA6 transcripts were downregulated when quiescent cultures were stimulated to proliferate in response to mitogen activation. The results demonstrate that GATA6 is subject to both tissue-specific and mitogen-responsive regulatory signals.