The transcription factor protein Sox11 enhances early osteoblast differentiation by facilitating proliferation and the survival of mesenchymal and osteoblast progenitors

J Biol Chem. 2013 Aug 30;288(35):25400-25413. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.413377. Epub 2013 Jul 25.


Sox11 deletion mice are known to exhibit developmental defects of craniofacial skeletal malformations, asplenia, and hypoplasia of the lung, stomach, and pancreas. Despite the importance of Sox11 in the developing skeleton, the role of Sox11 in osteogenesis has not been studied yet. In this study, we identified that Sox11 is an important transcription factor for regulating the proliferation and survival of osteoblast precursor cells as well as the self-renewal potency of mesenchymal progenitor cells via up-regulation of Tead2. Furthermore, Sox11 also plays an important role in the segregation of functional osteoblast lineage progenitors from osteochondrogenic progenitors. Facilitation of osteoblast differentiation from mesenchymal cells was achieved by enhanced expression of the osteoblast lineage specific transcription factors Runx2 and Osterix. Morpholino-targeted disruption of Sox11 in zebrafish impaired organogenesis, including the bones, which were under mineralized. These results indicated that Sox11 plays a crucial role in the proliferation and survival of mesenchymal and osteoblast precursors by Tead2, and osteogenic differentiation by regulating Runx2 and Osterix.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Bone; Hippo Signaling; Mesenchymal Stem Cells; Osteoblasts; Osteocyte; Osteogenesis; Osterix; Runx2; Sox11.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit / genetics
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXC Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Sp7 Transcription Factor
  • TEA Domain Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Zebrafish / embryology
  • Zebrafish / genetics


  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Runx2 protein, mouse
  • SOXC Transcription Factors
  • Sox11 protein, mouse
  • Sp7 Transcription Factor
  • Sp7 protein, mouse
  • TEA Domain Transcription Factors
  • Tead2 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors