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More than just Stem Cells: Functional Roles of the Transcription Factor Sox2 in Differentiated Glia and Neurons

1
Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University Milano-Bicocca, 20126 Milano, Italy
2
CNRS, Inserm, iBV, Université Côte d’Azur, 06108 Nice, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4540; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184540
Received: 9 August 2019 / Revised: 2 September 2019 / Accepted: 6 September 2019 / Published: 13 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Gene Expression During Embryonic Development)
The Sox2 transcription factor, encoded by a gene conserved in animal evolution, has become widely known because of its functional relevance for stem cells. In the developing nervous system, Sox2 is active in neural stem cells, and important for their self-renewal; differentiation to neurons and glia normally involves Sox2 downregulation. Recent evidence, however, identified specific types of fully differentiated neurons and glia that retain high Sox2 expression, and critically require Sox2 function, as revealed by functional studies in mouse and in other animals. Sox2 was found to control fundamental aspects of the biology of these cells, such as the development of correct neuronal connectivity. Sox2 downstream target genes identified within these cell types provide molecular mechanisms for cell-type-specific Sox2 neuronal and glial functions. SOX2 mutations in humans lead to a spectrum of nervous system defects, involving vision, movement control, and cognition; the identification of neurons and glia requiring Sox2 function, and the investigation of Sox2 roles and molecular targets within them, represents a novel perspective for the understanding of the pathogenesis of these defects. View Full-Text
Keywords: sox2; neurons; glia; transcription factors; neural stem cells; cerebellum; thalamus; dorsolateral geniculate nucleus; visual cortex; Bergmann glia; Müller glia sox2; neurons; glia; transcription factors; neural stem cells; cerebellum; thalamus; dorsolateral geniculate nucleus; visual cortex; Bergmann glia; Müller glia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mercurio, S.; Serra, L.; Nicolis, S.K. More than just Stem Cells: Functional Roles of the Transcription Factor Sox2 in Differentiated Glia and Neurons. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 4540.

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