SOX2: an Important Stem Cell Transcription Factor

Mon, 12/03/2012 - 09:43

SOX2 is a transcription factor that is expressed by self-renewing and multipotent stem cells of the embryonic neuroepithelium. Sox-2 was found to be expressed by dividing neural progenitor cells. Constitutive expression of SOX2 has also been shown to inhibit neuronal differentiation and results in the maintenance of progenitor characteristics. Conversely, inhibition of SOX2 signaling results in neural progenitor cells exit from cell cycle, which is associated with a loss of progenitor markers and the onset of early neuronal differentiation markers. Taken together, these data indicate that SOX signaling is both necessary and sufficient to maintain pan neural properties of neural progenitor cells (1).

WB analysis of SOX2 in Mouse Brain Lysate

Recent studies demonstrate that cancer stem cells (CSCs) have higher tumorigenesis properties than those of differentiated cancer cells and that transcriptional factor-SOX2 plays a vital role in maintaining the unique properties of CSCs; immunohistochemical analysis of the SOX2 with anti-SOX2 antibodies in human lung tissues of normal individuals as well as patients with adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, large cell and small cell carcinoma demonstrated specific overexpression of SOX2 in all types of lung cancer tissues (2).  Sox2 appears to be an important gene in lung squamous cell carcinogenesis that in particular drives the development of poorly differentiated tumors. This finding supports the notion that SOX2 contributes to the tumorigenesis of lung cancer cells and can be used as a diagnostic probe.

  1. PMID: 12948443
  2. PMID: 22615765

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