Pleiotropic function of SRY-related HMG box transcription factor 4 in regulation of tumorigenesis

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Aug;70(15):2677-96. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-1187-y. Epub 2012 Oct 19.


In addition to their critical roles in embryonic development, cell fate decision, and differentiation, members of Sox (Sry-related high-mobility group box) family of transcription factors including Sox4 have been implicated in various cancers. Multiple studies have revealed an increased expression along with specific oncogenic function of Sox4 in tumors, while others observed a reduced expression of Sox4 in different types of malignancies and suppression of tumor initiation or progression by this protein. More interestingly, the prognostic value of Sox4 is debated due to obvious differences between various reports as well as inconsistencies within specific studies. This review summarizes our current understanding of Sox4 expression pattern and its transcription-dependent, as well as transcription-independent, functions in tumor initiation or progression and its correlation with patient survival. We also discuss the existing discrepancies between different reports and their possible explanations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Multigene Family / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*


  • SOXC Transcription Factors
  • beta Catenin