SoxD proteins influence multiple stages of oligodendrocyte development and modulate SoxE protein function

Dev Cell. 2006 Nov;11(5):697-709. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2006.08.011.


The myelin-forming oligodendrocytes are an excellent model to study transcriptional regulation of specification events, lineage progression, and terminal differentiation in the central nervous system. Here, we show that the group D Sox transcription factors Sox5 and Sox6 jointly and cell-autonomously regulate several stages of oligodendrocyte development in the mouse spinal cord. They repress specification and terminal differentiation and influence migration patterns. As a consequence, oligodendrocyte precursors and terminally differentiating oligodendrocytes appear precociously in spinal cords deficient for both Sox proteins. Sox5 and Sox6 have opposite functions than the group E Sox proteins Sox9 and Sox10, which promote oligodendrocyte specification and terminal differentiation. Both genetic as well as molecular evidence suggests that Sox5 and Sox6 directly interfere with the function of group E Sox proteins. Our studies reveal a complex regulatory network between different groups of Sox proteins that is essential for proper progression of oligodendrocyte development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mutation
  • Myelin Sheath / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Oligodendroglia / cytology
  • Oligodendroglia / physiology*
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • SOXD Transcription Factors
  • SOXE Transcription Factors
  • Spinal Cord / cytology*
  • Spinal Cord / embryology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • SOXD Transcription Factors
  • SOXE Transcription Factors
  • Sox10 protein, mouse
  • Sox5 protein, mouse
  • Sox6 protein, mouse
  • Sox9 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors