From CNS stem cells to neurons and glia: Sox for everyone

Cell Tissue Res. 2015 Jan;359(1):111-24. doi: 10.1007/s00441-014-1909-6. Epub 2014 Jun 4.

Abstract

Neuroepithelial precursor cells of the vertebrate central nervous system either self-renew or differentiate into neurons, oligodendrocytes or astrocytes under the influence of a gene regulatory network that consists in transcription factors, epigenetic modifiers and microRNAs. Sox transcription factors are central to this regulatory network, especially members of the SoxB, SoxC, SoxD, SoxE and SoxF groups. These Sox proteins are widely expressed in neuroepithelial precursor cells and in newly specified, differentiating and mature neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes and influence their identity, survival and development. They exert their effect predominantly at the transcriptional level but also have substantial impact on expression at the epigenetic and posttranscriptional levels with some Sox proteins acting as pioneer factors, recruiting chromatin-modifying and -remodelling complexes or influencing microRNA expression. They interact with a large variety of other transcription factors and influence the expression of regulatory molecules and effector genes in a cell-type-specific and temporally controlled manner. As versatile regulators with context-dependent functions, they are not only indispensable for central nervous system development but might also be instrumental for the development of reprogramming and cell conversion strategies for replacement therapies and for assisted regeneration after injury or degeneration-induced cell loss in the central nervous system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / cytology*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • SOX Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • SOX Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*

Substances

  • SOX Transcription Factors