The transcription factors (TFs) play a crucial role in the modulation of specific gene transcription
networks. One of the hepatocyte nuclear factors (HNFs) family’s member, hepatocyte nuclear
factor-1α (HNF-1α) has continuously become a principal TF to control the expression of genes. It is
involved in the regulation of a variety of functions in various human organs including liver, pancreas,
intestine, and kidney. It regulates the expression of enzymes involved in endocrine and xenobiotic activity
through various metabolite transporters located in the above organs. Its expression is also required
for organ-specific cell fate determination. Despite two decades of its first identification in hepatocytes, a
review of its significance was not comprehended. Here, the role of HNF-1α in the above organs at the
molecular level to intimate molecular mechanisms for regulating certain gene expression whose malfunctions
are attributed to the disease conditions has been specifically encouraged. Moreover, the epigenetic
effects of HNF-1α have been discussed here, which could help in advanced technologies for molecular
pharmacological intervention and potential clinical implications for targeted therapies.
HNF-1α plays an indispensable role in several physiological mechanisms in the liver, pancreas, intestine,
and kidney. Loss of its operations leads to the non-functional or abnormal functional state of each
organ. Specific molecular agents or epigenetic modifying drugs that reactivate HNF-1α are the current
requirements for the medications of the diseases.