SoxE function in vertebrate nervous system development

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2010 Mar;42(3):437-40. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2009.07.014. Epub 2009 Jul 30.


Sox8, Sox9, and Sox10 as transcription factors of subgroup E of the Sox protein family are essential for many aspects of nervous system development. These SoxE proteins are already required for the initial neural crest induction, but also guarantee survival and maintenance of pluripotency in migrating neural crest stem cells. SoxE proteins are furthermore key regulators of glial specification in both the peripheral and the central nervous systems. At later stages of development, Sox10 plays crucial roles in Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes for terminal differentiation and myelin formation. In both glial cell types, Sox10 controls directly the expression of genes encoding the major myelin proteins. SoxE proteins are well-integrated components of regulatory networks and as such modulated in their activity by cooperating or antagonistic transcription factors such as SoxD or various bHLH proteins. The multiple functions in peripheral and central nervous system development also link SoxE proteins to various human diseases and identify these proteins as promising targets of future therapeutic approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / embryology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Peripheral Nervous System / embryology
  • Peripheral Nervous System / metabolism
  • SOXE Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXE Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Vertebrates / embryology*


  • SOXE Transcription Factors