Direct reprogramming with SOX factors: masters of cell fate

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2017 Oct;46:24-36. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2017.06.005. Epub 2017 Jul 4.


Over the last decade significant advances have been made toward reprogramming the fate of somatic cells, typically by overexpression of cell lineage-determinant transcription factors. As key regulators of cell fate, the SOX family of transcription factors has emerged as potent drivers of direct somatic cell reprogramming into multiple lineages, in some cases as the sole overexpressed factor. The vast capacity of SOX factors, especially those of the SOXB1, E and F subclasses, to reprogram cell fate is enlightening our understanding of organismal development, cancer and disease, and offers tremendous potential for regenerative medicine and cell-based therapies. Understanding the molecular mechanisms through which SOX factors reprogram cell fate is essential to optimize the development of novel somatic cell transdifferentiation strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cell Transdifferentiation / genetics*
  • Cellular Reprogramming / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXE Transcription Factors / genetics
  • SOXF Transcription Factors / genetics


  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • SOXE Transcription Factors
  • SOXF Transcription Factors