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Gene Review

sox2  -  SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 2

Xenopus laevis

Synonyms: SRY-box2, Xsox-2, anop3, mcops3, sox-2
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High impact information on Sox-2

  • Blocking either Xfz5 or canonical Wnt signaling within the developing retina inhibits Sox2 expression, reduces cell proliferation, inhibits the onset of proneural gene expression, and biases individual progenitors toward a nonneural fate, without altering the expression of multiple progenitor markers [1].
  • For example, more than half of the embryos prepared from transplanted neuroectoderm nuclei overexpressed the neuroectodermal marker gene Sox2 to an excessive level in their endoderm cells [2].
  • Attenuation of FoxD3-related signaling by a dominant-negative FoxD3 construct (FoxD3delN) inhibits neural crest differentiation in vivo without suppressing the CNS marker Sox2 [3].
  • In this report, we show that Sox2 function is required for neural differentiation of early Xenopus ectoderm [4].
  • Attenuation of Sox2 function both from the late blastula stage and from the late gastrula stage onwards causes an inhibition of neural differentiation in animal caps and in whole embryos [4].

Anatomical context of Sox-2

  • Thus, Zic-r1 acts in the pathway bridging the neural inducer with the downstream proneural genes, while Sox-2 makes the ectoderm responsive to extracellular signals, demonstrating that the early phase of neural induction involves simultaneous activation of multiple functions [5].


  1. Frizzled 5 signaling governs the neural potential of progenitors in the developing Xenopus retina. Van Raay, T.J., Moore, K.B., Iordanova, I., Steele, M., Jamrich, M., Harris, W.A., Vetter, M.L. Neuron (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Epigenetic memory of active gene transcription is inherited through somatic cell nuclear transfer. Ng, R.K., Gurdon, J.B. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Requirement of FoxD3-class signaling for neural crest determination in Xenopus. Sasai, N., Mizuseki, K., Sasai, Y. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Requirement of Sox2-mediated signaling for differentiation of early Xenopus neuroectoderm. Kishi, M., Mizuseki, K., Sasai, N., Yamazaki, H., Shiota, K., Nakanishi, S., Sasai, Y. Development (2000) [Pubmed]
  5. Xenopus Zic-related-1 and Sox-2, two factors induced by chordin, have distinct activities in the initiation of neural induction. Mizuseki, K., Kishi, M., Matsui, M., Nakanishi, S., Sasai, Y. Development (1998) [Pubmed]
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