The transcription factor SOX10 has essential roles in neural crest-derived cell populations, including myelinating Schwann cells-specialized glial cells responsible for ensheathing axons in the peripheral nervous system. Importantly, SOX10 directly regulates the expression of genes essential for proper myelin function. To date, only a handful of SOX10 target loci have been characterized in Schwann cells. Addressing this lack of knowledge will provide a better understanding of Schwann cell biology and candidate loci for relevant diseases such as demyelinating peripheral neuropathies. We have identified a highly-conserved SOX10 binding site within an alternative promoter at the SH3-domain kinase binding protein 1 (Sh3kbp1) locus. The genomic segment identified at Sh3kbp1 binds to SOX10 and displays strong promoter activity in Schwann cells in vitro and in vivo. Mutation of the SOX10 binding site ablates promoter activity, and ectopic expression of SOX10 in SOX10-negative cells promotes the expression of endogenous Sh3kbp1. Combined, these data reveal Sh3kbp1 as a novel target of SOX10 and raise important questions regarding the function of SH3KBP1 isoforms in Schwann cells.
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