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Mol Cell Biol. 2001 Oct;21(20):6951-9.

Idiopathic weight reduction in mice deficient in the high-mobility-group transcription factor Sox8.

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  • 1Institut für Biochemie, Universität Erlangen, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.


Sox8, Sox9, and Sox10 constitute subgroup E within the Sox family of transcription factors. Many Sox proteins are essential regulators of development. Sox9, for instance, is required for chondrogenesis and male sex determination; Sox10 plays key roles in neural crest development and peripheral gliogenesis. The function of Sox8 has not been studied so far. Here, we generated mice deficient in this third member of subgroup E. In analogy to the case for the related Sox9 and Sox10, we expected severe developmental defects in these mice. Despite strong expression of Sox8 in many tissues, including neural crest, nervous system, muscle, cartilage, adrenal gland, kidney, and testis, homozygous mice developed normally in utero, were born at Mendelian frequencies, and were viable. A substantial reduction in weight was observed in these mice; however, this reduction was not attributable to significant structural deficits in any of the Sox8-expressing tissues. Because of frequent coexpression with either Sox9 or Sox10, the mild phenotype of Sox8-deficient mice might at least in part be due to functional redundancy between group E Sox proteins.

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