Dynamic expression of chicken Sox2 and Sox3 genes in ectoderm induced to form neural tissue

Dev Dyn. 1997 Jul;209(3):323-32. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0177(199707)209:3<323::AID-AJA7>3.0.CO;2-K.


The chick genes, cSox2 and cSox3, are members of a large family of genes that encode transcription factors. Previous studies have shown that these genes are predominantly expressed in the central nervous system during embryonic development. We show that cSox3 is expressed throughout the ectoderm that is competent to form nervous tissue before neural induction. The expression of cSox3 is lost from cells as they undergo gastrulation to form nonectodermal tissues; the transcription factor, Brachyury, appears in cells about to undergo gastrulation a short time before cSox3 transcripts are lost. Therefore, Brachyury expression may act functionally upstream of cSox3 downregulation. cSox3 expression is also lost from non-neuronal ectoderm shortly after the neural plate becomes morphologically apparent. cSox2 expression increases dramatically in the central nervous system as neural ectoderm is established. The appearance of cSox2 in neural ectoderm represents one of the earliest molecular responses to neural induction documented thus far.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Ectoderm / chemistry*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / chemistry
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology
  • Embryonic Induction / genetics
  • Epithelium / chemistry
  • Fetal Proteins / analysis
  • Fetal Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Genes, Homeobox / physiology
  • HMGB Proteins
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Nervous System / chemistry
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • T-Box Domain Proteins*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fetal Proteins
  • HMGB Proteins
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Brachyury protein