Neural stem cells (NSCs) contribute to ontogeny by producing neurons at the appropriate time and location. Neurogenesis from NSCs is also involved in various biological functions in adults. Thus, NSCs continue to exert their effects throughout the lifespan of the organism. The mechanism regulating the core functional properties of NSCs is governed by intra- and extracellular signals. Among the transcription factors that serve as molecular switches, Sox2 is considered a key factor in NSCs. Sox2 forms a core network with partner factors, thereby functioning as a molecular switch. This review discusses how the network of Sox2 partner and target genes illustrates the molecular characteristics of the mechanism underlying the self-renewal and multipotency of NSCs.
Keywords: Multipotency; Neural stem cells; Self-renewal; Sox2; Transcriptional network.