Throughout vertebrate evolution, Sox2 marks the developing nervous system from its earliest developmental stages and, therein, the most undifferentiated precursor cells, including stem cells. Recent gene targeting studies investigated the function of Sox2 in two neuronal systems: the developing eye and brain. These studies uncovered a requirement for Sox2 in the maintenance of neural stem cells, as well as a downstream role in the differentiation of specific neuron sub-types. In both systems, Sox2 action is markedly dose-dependent, and downstream-target gene studies are beginning to reveal the mechanisms of Sox2 function.
Copyright 2009. Published by Elsevier Ltd.