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Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 Jul 15;30(14):3202-13.

Identification of Sox-2 regulatory region which is under the control of Oct-3/4-Sox-2 complex.

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Division of Developmental Biology, Saitama Medical School Research Center for Genomic Medicine, 1397-1 Yamane Hidaka-City, Saitama 350-1241, Japan.


Sox-2 is a transcriptional cofactor expressed in embryonic stem (ES) cells as well as in neuronal cells. It has been demonstrated that Sox-2 plays an important role in supporting gene expression in ES cells, especially by forming a complex with embryonic Octamer factor, Oct-3/4. Here, we have analyzed the regulatory regions of the Sox-2 gene and identified two enhancers which stimulate transcription in ES cells as well as in embryonal carcinoma cells. These regulatory regions, which we termed Sox regulatory regions (SRR) 1 and 2, exert their function specifically when cells are in an undifferentiated state. Interestingly, like the regulatory elements of FGF-4 and UTF1 genes, combinatorial action of Octamer and Sox-2 binding sites support the SRR2 activity. However, biochemical analyses reveal that, due to the unique sequence and/or its organization, the SRR2 bears distinct characteristics from those of FGF-4 and UTF1 regulatory elements. That is, unlike the FGF-4 gene enhancer, the SRR2 precludes the binding of the Oct-1-Sox-2 complex. The difference between the SRR2 and UTF1 regulatory element is in the ability of SRR2 to recruit the Oct-6-Sox-2 complex as well as the Oct-3/4-Sox-2 complex. Co-transfection analyses confirm that both complexes are able to stimulate transcription through the SRR2 element.

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