The role of SOX10 during enteric nervous system development

Dev Biol. 2013 Oct 1;382(1):330-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.04.024. Epub 2013 May 2.


The SOX10 transcription factor is a characteristic marker for migratory multipotent neural crest (NC) progenitors as well as several of their differentiated derivatives. The involvement of SOX10 in Waardenburg-Hirschsprung disease (pigmentation defects, deafness and intestinal aganglionosis) and studies of mutant animal models have contributed significantly to the understanding of its function in neural crest cells (NCC) in general and in the melanocytes and enteric nervous system (ENS) in particular. Cell-based studies have further demonstrated the important roles of this transcription factor in maintaining the NC progenitor cell number and in determining glial cell fate. Phenotypic variability observed among patients presenting with SOX10 mutations is in agreement with molecular genetics and animal model studies, which revealed that SOX10 cooperates with different partner factors; a number of genetic modifiers of SOX10 have been identified. This study reviews the expression, regulation, and function of SOX10 in normal development of the ENS and in disease conditions, as well as the genetic and molecular interactions of SOX10 with other ENS genes/factors. We also discuss future research areas. Further understanding of SOX10 function will benefit from genomic and cell biological studies that integrate the cell-intrinsic molecular mechanisms and the interactions of the enteric NCC with the niche environment.

Keywords: Enteric nervous system; Hirschsprung disease; Neural crest; SOX10; Waardenburg–Shah syndrome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Enteric Nervous System / embryology*
  • Enteric Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neural Crest / cytology
  • SOXE Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • SOXE Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXE Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • SOXE Transcription Factors