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Front Genet. 2015 Jun 17;6:196. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2015.00196. eCollection 2015.

Long non-coding RNA SOX2OT: expression signature, splicing patterns, and emerging roles in pluripotency and tumorigenesis.

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Stem Cell Research Center, Golestan University of Medical Sciences , Gorgan, Iran.
Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Advanced Medical Technologies, Golestan University of Medical Sciences , Gorgan, Iran.
Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Advanced Medical Technologies, Golestan University of Medical Sciences , Gorgan, Iran.
Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University , Tehran, Iran.


SOX2 overlapping transcript (SOX2OT) is a long non-coding RNA which harbors one of the major regulators of pluripotency, SOX2 gene, in its intronic region. SOX2OT gene is mapped to human chromosome 3q26.3 (Chr3q26.3) locus and is extended in a high conserved region of over 700 kb. Little is known about the exact role of SOX2OT; however, recent studies have demonstrated a positive role for it in transcription regulation of SOX2 gene. Similar to SOX2, SOX2OT is highly expressed in embryonic stem cells and down-regulated upon the induction of differentiation. SOX2OT is dynamically regulated during the embryogenesis of vertebrates, and delimited to the brain in adult mice and human. Recently, the disregulation of SOX2OT expression and its concomitant expression with SOX2 have become highlighted in some somatic cancers including esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, lung squamous cell carcinoma, and breast cancer. Interestingly, SOX2OT is differentially spliced into multiple mRNA-like transcripts in stem and cancer cells. In this review, we are describing the structural and functional features of SOX2OT, with an emphasis on its expression signature, its splicing patterns and its critical function in the regulation of SOX2 expression during development and tumorigenesis.


SOX2OT; expression signature; lncRNA; pluripotency; splicing pattern; stem cell; tumorigenesis

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