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The protein encoded by this gene belongs to the basic helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors. This gene product is one of two closely related family members, the HAND proteins, which are asymmetrically expressed in the developing ventricular chambers and play an essential role in cardiac morphogenesis. Working in a complementary fashion, they function in the formation of the right ventricle and aortic arch arteries, implicating them as mediators of congenital heart disease. In addition, it has been suggested that this transcription factor may be required for early trophoblast differentiation.
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