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The NFAT Family

An introduction to debates about NFAT family nomenclature.

The reason for this page is to introduce you to a particularly entertaining discussion regarding the vote on the nomenclature of the NFAT family of proteins. Until this vote, each member of the NFAT family had multiple names which resulted in a somewhat confusing state of the literature. To correct this situation, the HUGO nomenclature committee set a goal to unify the naming scheme so that new research articles would be consistent with each other.

A first step was to solicit comments from the most prominent members of the NFAT field, so several famous scientists involved themselves with the resulting discussion. If you studied this family of proteins for five or so years like I did, you might recognize how these scientists' contributions shaped their opinions on the topic.

I should note that I also determined the structure of a "related" protein called NFAT5, also known as TonEBP, mentioned by the participants several times in the discussion. Interestingly, the participants had no knowledge of the structure of TonEBP when they wrote thier comments (1999) because I had not yet solved it (2002). They did have an understanding of the structure of NFAT1 from the postdoctoral work of my PhD adviser, Lin Chen, because he had determined the structure of NFAT1 in complex with AP-1 in 1998, which preceded my thesis work.

I provide my own copies of these pages because, as far as I can tell, they disappeared from the internet for at least five or six years, only to miraculously return to the HUGO site--and you never know when some web admin might declare the content obsolete and again banish them from our collective electronic consciousness. I have changed some text styling from the original for appearances, but I have kept all of the text intact, even typos and misspellings.

Enjoy!


The Discussion

The Vote