Sox17-dependent gene expression and early heart and gut development in Sox17-deficient mouse embryos

Int J Dev Biol. 2011;55(1):45-58. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.103158sp.


Sox17 is a transcription factor that is required for maintenance of the definitive endoderm in mouse embryos. By expression profiling of wild-type and mutant embryos and Sox17-overexpressing hepatoma cells, we identified genes with Sox17-dependent expression. Among the genes that were up-regulated in Sox17-null embryos and down-regulated by Sox17 expressing HepG2 cells is a set of genes that are expressed in the developing liver, suggesting that one function of Sox17 is the repression of liver gene expression, which is compatible with a role for Sox17 in maintaining the definitive endoderm in a progenitor state. Consistent with these findings, Sox17(-/-) cells display a diminished capacity to contribute to the definitive endoderm when transplanted into wild-type hosts. Analysis of gene ontology further revealed that many genes related to heart development were downregulated in Sox17-null embryos. This is associated with the defective development of the heart in the mutant embryos, which is accompanied by localised loss of Myocd-expressing cardiogenic progenitors and the malformation of the anterior intestinal portal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / embryology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism*
  • Endoderm / embryology
  • Endoderm / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / embryology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • HMGB Proteins / deficiency
  • HMGB Proteins / genetics*
  • Heart / embryology
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • SOXF Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • SOXF Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Somites / embryology
  • Somites / metabolism


  • HMGB Proteins
  • SOX17 protein, human
  • SOXF Transcription Factors
  • Sox17 protein, mouse
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins