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Dev Dyn. 2010 Jan;239(1):56-68. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22046.

Interactions between SOX factors and Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in development and disease.

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Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation and University of Cincinnati Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.


The SOX family of transcription factors have emerged as modulators of canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in diverse development and disease contexts. There are over 20 SOX proteins encoded in the vertebrate genome and recent evidence suggests that many of these can physically interact with beta-catenin and modulate the transcription of Wnt-target genes. The precise mechanisms by which SOX proteins regulate beta-catenin/TCF activity are still being resolved and there is evidence to support a number of models including: protein-protein interactions, the binding of SOX factors to Wnt-target gene promoters, the recruitment of co-repressors or co-activators, modulation of protein stability, and nuclear translocation. In some contexts, Wnt signaling also regulates SOX expression resulting in feedback regulatory loops that fine-tune cellular responses to beta-catenin/TCF activity. In this review, we summarize the examples of Sox-Wnt interactions and examine the underlying mechanisms of this potentially widespread and underappreciated mode of Wnt-regulation.

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