SoxE factors: Transcriptional regulators of neural differentiation and nervous system development

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2017 Mar;63:35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2016.08.013. Epub 2016 Aug 21.


Sox8, Sox9 and Sox10 represent the three vertebrate members of the SoxE subclass of high-mobility-group domain containing Sox transcription factors. They play important roles in the peripheral and central nervous systems as regulators of stemness, specification, survival, lineage progression, glial differentiation and homeostasis. Functions are frequently overlapping, but sometimes antagonistic. SoxE proteins dynamically interact with transcriptional regulators, chromatin changing complexes and components of the transcriptional machinery. By establishing regulatory circuits with other transcription factors and microRNAs, SoxE proteins perform divergent functions in several cell lineages of the vertebrate nervous system, and at different developmental stages in the same cell lineage. The underlying molecular mechanisms are the topic of this review.

Keywords: Brain; Glia; Neural crest; Oligodendrocyte; Schwann cell; Transcriptional network.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • SOXE Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • SOXE Transcription Factors