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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The VCAM-1 gene that encodes the vascular cell adhesion molecule is a target of the Sry-related high mobility group box gene, Sox18.

VCAM-1 (vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) and Sox18 are involved in vascular development. VCAM-1 is an important adhesion molecule that is expressed on endothelial cells and has a critical role in endothelial activation, inflammation, lymphatic pathophysiology, and atherogenesis. The Sry-related high mobility group box factor Sox18 has previously been implicated in endothelial pathologies. Mutations in human and mouse Sox18 leads to hypotrichosis and lymphedema. Furthermore, both Sox18 and VCAM-1 have very similar spatio-temporal patterns of expression, which is suggestive of cross-talk. We use biochemical techniques, cell culture systems, and the ragged opossum (RaOP) mouse model with a naturally occurring mutation in Sox18 to demonstrate that VCAM-1 is an important target of Sox18. Transfection, site-specific mutagenesis, and gel shift analyses demonstrated that Sox18 directly targeted and trans- activated VCAM-1 expression. Importantly, the naturally occurring Sox18 mutant attenuates the expression and activation of VCAM-1 in vitro. Furthermore, in vivo quantitation of VCAM-1 mRNA levels in wild type and RaOP mice demonstrates that RaOP animals show a dramatic and significant reduction in VCAM-1 mRNA expression in lung, skin, and skeletal muscle. Our observation that the VCAM-1 gene is an important target of SOX18 provides the first molecular insights into the vascular abnormalities in the mouse mutant ragged and the human hypotrichosis-lymphedema-telangiectasia disorder.[1]


  1. The VCAM-1 gene that encodes the vascular cell adhesion molecule is a target of the Sry-related high mobility group box gene, Sox18. Hosking, B.M., Wang, S.C., Downes, M., Koopman, P., Muscat, G.E. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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