Positive feedback loop between Sox2 and Sox6 inhibits neuronal differentiation in the developing central nervous system

Kyung Eun Lee, Jihae Seo, Jiheon Shin, Eun Hye Ji, Jiwon Roh, Joo Yeon Kim, Woong Sun, Jonas Muhr, Sanghyuk Lee, Jaesang Kim

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18 Citations (Scopus)


How a pool of undifferentiated neural progenitor cells is maintained in the developing nervous system is an issue that remains unresolved. One of the key transcription factors for self-renewal of these cells is Sox2, the forced expression of which has been shown to inhibit neuronal differentiation in vivo. To dissect the molecular mechanisms of Sox2 activity, a ChIP-on-chip assay has been carried out for Sox2, and multiple candidate direct target genes have been isolated. In this report, we provide evidence indicating that Sox6, which like Sox2 belongs to the SRY-related HMG box transcription factor family, is a bona-fide direct regulatory target of Sox2. In vivo, Sox6 expression is seen with a temporal lag in Sox2-positive neural precursor cells in the ventricular zone, and Sox2 promotes expression of Sox6 as a transcriptional activator. Interestingly, gain- and loss-of-function assays indicate that Sox6 in turn is required for the maintenance of Sox2 expression, suggesting that a positive feedback loop, which functions to inhibit premature neuronal differentiation, exists between the two transcription factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2794-2799
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Feb 18



  • CNS
  • Neural development
  • Neural stem cell
  • SoxB1
  • SoxD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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