SOX7 is an immediate-early target of VegT and regulates Nodal-related gene expression in Xenopus

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In zebrafish, the divergent F-type SOX casanova acts downstream of Nodal signaling to specify endoderm. While no casanova orthologs have been identified in tetrapods, the F-type SOX, SOX7, is supplied maternally in Xenopus (Fawcett and Klymkowsky, 2004. GER 4, 29). Subsequent RT-PCR and section-based in situ hybridization analyses indicate that SOX7 mRNA is localized to the vegetal region of the blastula-stage embryo. Overexpression and maternal depletion studies reveal that the T-box transcription factor VegT, which initiates mesoendodermal differentiation, directly regulates SOX7 expression. SOX7, but not SOX17 (another F-type SOX), binds to sites within the Xnr5 promoter and SOX7, but not SOX17, induces expression of the Nodal-related genes Xnr1, Xnr2, Xnr4, Xnr5, and Xnr6, the homeodomain transcription factor Mixer, and the endodermal marker SOX17β; both SOX7 and SOX17 induce expression of the pan-endodermal marker endodermin. SOX7's induction of Xnr expression in animal caps is independent of Mixer and Nodal signaling. In animal caps, VegT's ability to induce Mixer and Edd appears to depend upon SOX7 activity. Whole embryo experiments suggests that vegetal factors partially compensate for the absence of SOX7. Based on the antagonistic effects of SOX7 and SOX3 (Zhang et al., 2004. Dev. Biol. 273, 23) and their common binding sites in the Xnr5 promoter, we propose a model in which competitive interactions between these two proteins are involved in refining the domain of endodermal differentiation. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Zhang, C., Basta, T., Fawcett, S. R., & Klymkowsky, M. W. (2005). SOX7 is an immediate-early target of VegT and regulates Nodal-related gene expression in Xenopus. Developmental Biology, 278(2), 526–541.

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