Sox9 and programming of liver and pancreatic progenitors

J Clin Invest. 2013 May;123(5):1881-6. doi: 10.1172/JCI66022. Epub 2013 May 1.


Recent advances in developmental biology have greatly expanded our understanding of progenitor cell programming and the fundamental roles that Sox9 plays in liver and pancreas organogenesis. In the last 2 years, several studies have dissected the behavior of the Sox9+ duct cells in adult organs, but conflicting results have left unanswered the long-standing question of whether physiologically functioning progenitors exist in adult liver and pancreas. On the other hand, increasing evidence suggests that duct cells function as progenitors in the tissue restoration process after injury, during which embryonic programs are sometimes reactivated. This article discusses the role of Sox9 in programming liver and pancreatic progenitors as well as controversies in the field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • Developmental Biology / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Humans
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Liver / cytology*
  • Liver / embryology
  • Liver Regeneration
  • Mice
  • Pancreas / cytology*
  • Pancreas / embryology
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*


  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases