Gene Summary

Gene:SOX6; SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 6
Aliases: SOXD, HSSOX6
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the D subfamily of sex determining region y-related transcription factors that are characterized by a conserved DNA-binding domain termed the high mobility group box and by their ability to bind the minor groove of DNA. The encoded protein is a transcriptional activator that is required for normal development of the central nervous system, chondrogenesis and maintenance of cardiac and skeletal muscle cells. The encoded protein interacts with other family members to cooperatively activate gene expression. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants.[provided by RefSeq, Mar 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcription factor SOX-6
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SOX6 (cancer-related)

Seabra AD, Araújo TM, Mello Junior FA, et al.
High-density array comparative genomic hybridization detects novel copy number alterations in gastric adenocarcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(11):6405-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate frequent quantitative alterations of intestinal-type gastric adenocarcinoma.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed genome-wide DNA copy numbers of 22 samples and using CytoScan® HD Array.
RESULTS: We identified 22 gene alterations that to the best of our knowledge have not been described for gastric cancer, including of v-erb-b2 avian erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 4 (ERBB4), SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 6 (SOX6), regulator of telomere elongation helicase 1 (RTEL1) and UDP-Gal:betaGlcNAc beta 1,4- galactosyltransferase, polypeptide 5 (B4GALT5). The most significant alterations related to peritoneal invasion involved the regions 13q21.1 (gain) and 15q15.1, 17q23.1, 19q13.2 and 20q11.22 (loss of heterozygozity; LOH), where we found LOH of erythrocyte membrane protein band 4.1-like 1 (EPB41L1) gene. In relation to early age of onset, the most significant alterations were gains in the regions Xq26 and Xp22.31 and a loss in the region 11p15.4.
CONCLUSION: These quantitative changes may play a role in the development of this type of neoplasia and may be used as markers in evaluating poor prognosis, as well as act as potential therapeutic targets for gastric cancer.

Pei XH, Lv XQ, Li HX
Sox5 induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition by transactivation of Twist1.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 446(1):322-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), a highly conserved cellular program, plays an important role in normal embryogenesis and cancer metastasis. Twist1, a master regulator of embryonic morphogenesis, is overexpressed in breast cancer and contributes to metastasis by promoting EMT. In exploring the mechanism underlying the increased Twist1 in breast cancer cells, we found that the transcription factor SRY (sex-determining region Y)-box 5(Sox5) is up-regulation in breast cancer cells and depletion of Sox5 inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Furthermore, depletion of Sox5 in breast cancer cells caused a dramatic decrease in Twist1 and chromosome immunoprecipitation assay showed that Sox5 can bind directly to the Twist1 promoter, suggesting that Sox5 transactivates Twist1 expression. We further demonstrated that knockdown of Sox5 up-regulated epithelial phenotype cell biomarker (E-cadherin) and down-regulated mesenchymal phenotype cell biomarkers (N-cadherin, Vimentin, and Fibronectin 1), resulting in suppression of EMT. Our study suggests that Sox5 transactivates Twist1 expression and plays an important role in the regulation of breast cancer progression.

Lynn M, Wang Y, Slater J, et al.
High-resolution genome-wide copy-number analyses identify localized copy-number alterations in Ewing sarcoma.
Diagn Mol Pathol. 2013; 22(2):76-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ewing sarcoma family tumors are aggressive sarcomas of childhood and adolescence with continuing poor outcomes. Decades of research on the characteristics of the often solitary-known oncogenic-genomic aberration in Ewing sarcoma family tumors, namely a TET-ETS fusion, have provided little advancement in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of Ewing sarcoma or treatment thereof. In this study, the high-resolution single-nucleotide polymorphism technology was used to identify additional/secondary copy-number alterations (CNAs) in Ewing sarcoma that might elucidate the aggressive biology of this sarcoma. We compared paired constitutional and tumor DNA samples. Commonly known genomic alterations including gain of 1q and chromosome 8 were the most frequently detected changes in this study. In addition, deletions and loss of heterozygosity were identified in 10q, 11p, and 17p. Furthermore, tumor-specific CNAs were identified not only in genes previously known to be of interest, including CDKN2A, but also in genes not previously associated with Ewing sarcoma, including SOX6 and PTEN. Selected array-based findings were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization, immunohistochemical studies, or sequencing. The results highlight an unexpected level of cytogenetic complexity associated with several of the samples, 2 of which contained TP53 mutations. In summary, our high-resolution genome-wide copy-number data identify several novel CNAs associated with Ewing sarcoma, which are promising targets for novel therapeutic strategies in this aggressive sarcoma.

Xie Q, Chen X, Lu F, et al.
Aberrant expression of microRNA 155 may accelerate cell proliferation by targeting sex-determining region Y box 6 in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer. 2012; 118(9):2431-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recent research has suggested that the oncomir microRNA 155 (miR-155) is up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, the authors investigated the tumorigenic mechanism of this oncomir in the development of HCC.
METHODS: Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was conducted to analyze the expressions of miR-155 and its potential target genes in paired tumor tissues and adjacent tumor-free tissues and in disease-free liver tissue samples. The in silico predicted target genes of miR-155 were assessed by dual-luciferase reporting assay, real-time RT-PCR, and Western blot analyses. U6 promoters that drive miR-155 precursor overexpression and miR-155 tough decoy knock-down constructs were used to study its affects on cell proliferation in vitro and on tumor formation in nude mice.
RESULTS: Quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated a gradual ascension of miR-155 expression in cirrhotic liver tissues and in HCC tumor tissues compared with low expression levels in normal liver tissues. Ectopic expression of miR-155 in HepG2 cells enhanced its tumorigenesis, whereas depletion of the endogenous miR-155 reversed these tumorigenic properties. Ectopic expression of sex-determining region Y box 6 (SOX6) was able to reverse the growth-promoting property of miR-155. Concordantly, the results demonstrated for the first time that SOX6 is a direct target of miR-155. Further analysis revealed that SOX6 reduced cell growth by up-regulating p21waf1/cip1 expression in a p53-dependent manner. In addition, a decline in p21waf1/cip1 expression caused by miR-155 could be reversed by SOX6 expression.
CONCLUSIONS: The current data indicated that SOX6 is a novel target of miR-155 and that miR-155 enhances liver cell tumorigenesis at least in part through the novel miR-155/SOX6/p21waf1/cip1 axis. These findings suggest that miR-155 may be a potential target for HCC treatment.

Delahanty RJ, Beeghly-Fadiel A, Xiang YB, et al.
Association of obesity-related genetic variants with endometrial cancer risk: a report from the Shanghai Endometrial Cancer Genetics Study.
Am J Epidemiol. 2011; 174(10):1115-26 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Obesity is a well-established risk factor for endometrial cancer, the most common gynecologic malignancy. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple genetic markers for obesity. The authors evaluated the association of obesity-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with endometrial cancer using GWAS data from their recently completed study, the Shanghai Endometrial Cancer Genetics Study, which comprised 832 endometrial cancer cases and 2,049 controls (1996-2005). Thirty-five SNPs previously associated with obesity or body mass index (BMI; weight (kg)/height (m)(2)) at a minimum significance level of ≤5 × 10(-7) in the US National Human Genome Research Institute's GWAS catalog ( and representing 26 unique loci were evaluated by either direct genotyping or imputation. The authors found that for 22 of the 26 unique loci tested (84.6%), the BMI-associated risk variants were present at a higher frequency in cases than in population controls (P = 0.0003). Multiple regression analysis showed that 9 of 35 BMI-associated variants, representing 7 loci, were significantly associated (P ≤ 0.05) with the risk of endometrial cancer; for all but 1 SNP, the direction of association was consistent with that found for BMI. For consistent SNPs, the allelic odds ratios ranged from 1.15 to 1.29. These 7 loci are in the SEC16B/RASAL, TMEM18, MSRA, SOX6, MTCH2, FTO, and MC4R genes. The associations persisted after adjustment for BMI, suggesting that genetic markers of obesity provide value in addition to BMI in predicting endometrial cancer risk.

Yu J, Deshmukh H, Payton JE, et al.
Array-based comparative genomic hybridization identifies CDK4 and FOXM1 alterations as independent predictors of survival in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(7):1924-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST) are highly aggressive sarcomas with variable patient survival and few known prognostically relevant genomic biomarkers. To identify survival-associated genomic biomarkers, we performed high-resolution array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) on a large set of MPNSTs.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Candidate gene alterations identified by aCGH in 38 MPNSTs were validated at the DNA, RNA, and protein levels on these same tumors and an independent set of 87 MPNST specimens.
RESULTS: aCGH revealed highly complex copy number alterations, including both previously reported and completely novel loci. Four regions of copy number gain were associated with poor patient survival. Candidate genes in these regions include SOX5 (12p12.1), NOL1 and MLF2 (12p13.31), FOXM1 and FKBP1 (12p13.33), and CDK4 and TSPAN31 (12q14.1). Alterations of these candidate genes and several others of interest (ERBB2, MYC and TP53) were confirmed by at least 1 complementary methodology, including DNA and mRNA quantitative real-time PCR, mRNA expression profiling, and tissue microarray-based fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry. Multivariate analysis showed that CDK4 gain/amplification and increased FOXM1 protein expression were the most significant independent predictors for poor survival in MPNST patients (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides new and independently confirmed candidate genes that could serve as genomic biomarkers for overall survival in MPNST patients.

Qin YR, Tang H, Xie F, et al.
Characterization of tumor-suppressive function of SOX6 in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(1):46-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: By using cDNA microarray analysis, we identified a transcriptional factor, SOX6, was frequently downregulated in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). The aim of this study is to investigate the role of SOX6 in human esophageal cancer development, and to examine the prevalence and clinical significance of SOX6 downregulation in ESCC.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Expressions of SOX6 mRNA in 50 ESCCs and SOX6 protein in 300 ESCCs were investigated by semiquantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The tumor-suppressive function of SOX6 was characterized by cell growth, foci formation, wound-healing and cell invasive assays, and tumor xenograft experiment. Western blot analysis was applied to detect protein expression levels.
RESULTS: SOX6 was frequently downregulated in primary ESCCs in both mRNA level (29/50, 58%) and protein level (149/219, 68.0%), which was significantly associated with the poor differentiation (P = 0.029), lymph node metastases (P = 0.014), advanced TNM stage (P = 0.000), and disease-specific survival (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis indicated that the downregulation of SOX6 (P = 0.000) was a significant independent prognostic factors for ESCC. Functional studies showed that SOX6 was able to suppress both in vitro and in vivo tumorigenic ability of ESCC cells. The tumor-suppressive mechanism of SOX6 was associated with its role in G1/S cell-cycle arrest by upregulating expressions of p53 and p21(WAF1/CIP1) and downregulating expressions of cyclin D1/CDK4, cyclin A, and β-catenin.
CONCLUSIONS: We provided the first evidence that SOX6 is a novel tumor-suppressor gene in ESCC development and is a potential prognostic marker in ESCC.

Tchougounova E, Jiang Y, Bråsäter D, et al.
Sox5 can suppress platelet-derived growth factor B-induced glioma development in Ink4a-deficient mice through induction of acute cellular senescence.
Oncogene. 2009; 28(12):1537-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
SOX5 is a member of the high-mobility group superfamily of architectural non-histone proteins involved in gene regulation and maintenance of chromatin structure in a wide variety of developmental processes. Sox5 was identified as a brain tumor locus in a retroviral insertional mutagenesis screen of platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGFB)-induced mouse gliomas. Here we have investigated the role of Sox5 in PDGFB-induced gliomagenesis in mice. We show that Sox5 can suppress PDGFB-induced glioma development predominantly upon Ink4a-loss. In human glioma cell lines and tissues, we found very low levels of SOX5 compared with normal brain. Overexpression of Sox5 in human glioma cells led to a reduction in clone formation and inhibition of proliferation. Combined expression of Sox5 and PDGFB in primary brain cell cultures caused decreased proliferation and an increased number of senescent cells in the Ink4a-/- cells only. Protein analyses showed a reduction in the amount and activation of Akt and increased levels of p27(Kip1) upon Sox5 expression that was dominant to PDGFB signaling and specific to Ink4a-/- cells. Upon inhibition of p27(Kip1), the effects of Sox5 on proliferation and senescence could be reversed. Our data suggest a novel pathway, where Sox5 may suppress the oncogenic effects of PDGFB signaling during glioma development by regulating p27(Kip1) in a p19(Arf)-dependent manner, leading to acute cellular senescence.

Ma S, Chan YP, Woolcock B, et al.
DNA fingerprinting tags novel altered chromosomal regions and identifies the involvement of SOX5 in the progression of prostate cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2009; 124(10):2323-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
Identification of genomic alterations associated with the progression of prostate cancer may facilitate the better understanding of the development of this highly variable disease. Matched normal, premalignant high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and invasive prostate carcinoma cells were procured by laser capture microdissection (LCM) from human radical prostatectomy specimens. From these cells, comparative DNA fingerprints were generated by a modified PCR-based technique called scanning of microdissected archival lesion (SMAL)-PCR. Recurrent polymorphic fingerprint fragments were used in tagging altered chromosomal regions. Altered regions were found at cytobands 1p31.3, 1q44, 2p23.1, 3p26.3, 3q22.3, 4q22.3, 4q35.2, 5q23.2, 8q22.3, 8q24.13, 9q21.3, 9q22.32, 10q11.21, 11p13, 12p12.1, 13q12.1, 16q12.2 and 18q21.31. Candidate genes in the surrounding area that may possibly harbor mutations that change normal prostatic cells to progress into their tumor stages were proposed. Of these fragments, a 420 bp alteration, absent in all 26 normal samples screened, was observed in 2 tumors. This fragment was cloned, sequenced and localized to chromosome 12p12.1. Within this region, candidate gene sex determining region Y-box 5 (SOX5) was proposed. Further studies of SOX5 in cell lines, xenografts and human prostate specimens, at both the RNA and protein levels, found overexpression of the gene in tumors. This overexpression was then subsequently found by fluorescent in situ hybridization to be caused by amplification of the region. In conclusion, our results suggest LCM coupled with SMAL-PCR DNA fingerprinting is a useful method for the screening and identification of chromosomal regions and genes associated with cancer development. Further, overexpression of SOX5 is associated with prostate tumor progression and early development of distant metastasis.

Fukui N, Ikeda Y, Ohnuki T, et al.
Regional differences in chondrocyte metabolism in osteoarthritis: a detailed analysis by laser capture microdissection.
Arthritis Rheum. 2008; 58(1):154-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine the change in metabolic activity of chondrocytes in osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage, considering regional difference and degree of cartilage degeneration.
METHODS: OA cartilage was obtained from knee joints with end-stage OA, at both macroscopically intact areas and areas with various degrees of cartilage degeneration. Control cartilage was obtained from age-matched donors. Using laser capture microdissection, cartilage samples were separated into superficial, middle, and deep zones, and gene expression was compared quantitatively in the respective zones between OA and control cartilage.
RESULTS: In OA cartilage, gene expression changed markedly with the site. The expression of cartilage matrix genes was highly enhanced in macroscopically intact areas, but the enhancement was less obvious in the degenerated areas, especially in the upper regions. In contrast, in those regions, the expression of type III collagen and fibronectin was most enhanced, suggesting that chondrocytes underwent a phenotypic change there. Within OA cartilage, the expression of cartilage matrix genes was significantly correlated with SOX9 expression, but not with SOX5 or SOX6 expression. In OA cartilage, the strongest correlation was observed between the expression of type III collagen and fibronectin, suggesting the presence of a certain link(s) between their expression.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study revealed a comprehensive view of the metabolic change of the chondrocytes in OA cartilage. The change of gene expression profile was most obvious in the upper region of the degenerated cartilage. The altered gene expression at that region may be responsible for the loss of cartilage matrix associated with OA.

Huang DY, Lin YT, Jan PS, et al.
Transcription factor SOX-5 enhances nasopharyngeal carcinoma progression by down-regulating SPARC gene expression.
J Pathol. 2008; 214(4):445-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is prevalent in south-eastern Asia, and its tumourigenesis is rather complex. The purpose of this research was to identify the pivotal genes that may be altered during the early stage of NPC progression. Eleven genes were selected by comparative microarray analysis of NPC versus normal nasomucosal cells. The expression of SPARC (secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich) was statistically significantly down-regulated in NPC cells. In exploring the mechanism underlying the decreased transcription of SPARC in NPC cells, we found that the transcription factor SRY (sex-determining region Y)-box 5 (SOX-5) is up-regulated in NPC cells. RNA interference of SOX-5 by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) in NPC cells caused a dramatic increase in SPARC and chromosome immunoprecipitation assay showed that SOX-5 can bind directly to the SPARC promoter, suggesting that SOX-5 acts as a key transcriptional repressor of SPARC. We further demonstrated that shRNA knockdown of SOX-5 suppressed the proliferation of NPC cells, as well as their migratory ability, which was also observed when SPARC was over-expressed in NPC cells. Alternatively, blocking SPARC with an antagonistic antibody reversed the effects of SOX-5 knockdown. In 66 NPC patients, over-expression of SOX-5 in tumour cells correlated clinically with poor survival. Our study suggests that SOX-5 transcriptionally down-regulates SPARC expression and plays an important role in the regulation of NPC progression. SOX-5 is a potential tumour marker for poor NPC prognosis.

Schlierf B, Friedrich RP, Roerig P, et al.
Expression of SoxE and SoxD genes in human gliomas.
Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2007; 33(6):621-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Members of group E and group D of the Sox gene family function as important transcriptional regulators of glial development in the central nervous system. Here, we have examined Sox gene expression in 60 human primary gliomas. Transcripts from each of the six group E and group D genes were expressed in gliomas of various types and malignancy grades, but with significant differences. SOX5, SOX9 and SOX10 were generally expressed at levels similar to or below those in adult brain tissue. In contrast, many oligodendrogliomas exhibited upregulation of SOX6, SOX8 and SOX13. Furthermore, loss of heterozygosity on chromosomal arms 1p and 19q was associated with significantly higher SOX8 mRNA levels. Low-grade astrocytomas, but not glioblastomas, also showed elevated SOX8 transcript levels. Taken together, the expression pattern of Sox genes in gliomas is heterogeneous and overall compatible with the less differentiated state of glioma cells as compared with their normal adult counterparts. Despite their restricted expression in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes during normal development, none of the Sox genes was selectively expressed in tumours of the oligodendroglial or astrocytic lineage. This is compatible with an origin of gliomas from neuroepithelial stem or precursor cells.

Iguchi H, Urashima Y, Inagaki Y, et al.
SOX6 suppresses cyclin D1 promoter activity by interacting with beta-catenin and histone deacetylase 1, and its down-regulation induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation.
J Biol Chem. 2007; 282(26):19052-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Sex-determining region Y-box (SOX) 6 negatively regulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from beta-cells and is a down-regulated transcription factor in the pancreatic islet cells of hyperinsulinemic obese mice. To determine the contribution of SOX6 to insulin resistance, we analyzed the effects of SOX6 on cell proliferation. Small interfering RNA-mediated attenuation of SOX6 expression stimulated the proliferation of insulinoma INS-1E and NIH-3T3 cells, whereas retroviral overexpression resulted in inhibition of cell growth. Quantitative real time-PCR analysis revealed that the levels of cyclin D1 transcripts were markedly decreased by SOX6 overexpression. Luciferase-reporter assay with beta-catenin showed that SOX6 suppresses cyclin D1 promoter activities. In vitro binding experiments showed that the LZ/Q domain of SOX6 physically interacts with armadillo repeats 1-4 of beta-catenin. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that increased SOX6 expression significantly reduced the levels of acetylated histones H3 and H4 at the cyclin D1 promoter. By using a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor and co-immunoprecipitation analysis, we showed that SOX6 suppressed cyclin D1 activities by interacting withbeta-catenin and HDAC1. The data presented suggest that SOX6 may be an important factor in obesity-related insulin resistance.

Ueda R, Yoshida K, Kawase T, et al.
Preferential expression and frequent IgG responses of a tumor antigen, SOX5, in glioma patients.
Int J Cancer. 2007; 120(8):1704-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously reported to identify SOX5 as a glioma antigen by serological screening using a testis cDNA library. The present study was designed to analyze SOX5 expression, its immunoreactivity, and the correlation between SOX5 IgG responses and clinical features in glioma patients to evaluate the possibility of its use as a diagnostic marker. Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed that SOX5 was expressed in glioma tissues, but not in normal adult tissues, except in the testis. An immunohistochemical analysis showed that SOX5 was expressed in glioma cells, but only a few SOX5-positive cells were detected in non-neoplastic tissues from the cerebral cortex. IgG antibodies against SOX5 were detected in sera from 8 of the 27 glioma patients (27.6%), 0 of the 14 patients with other brain diseases (0%), 1 of the 54 other cancer patients (1.9%) and 1 of the 37 healthy individuals (2.7%). Patients with glioblastoma (GBM) who showed IgG responses against SOX5 exhibited significantly better survival periods than GBM patients without SOX5 antibodies. In summary, SOX5 is aberrantly expressed in glioma and can be recognized as a glioma antigen using IgGs from the sera of glioma patients. Furthermore, there is a statistically significant correlation between the presence of SOX5 IgGs and survival in GBM patients, suggesting that the glioma antigen SOX5 may be useful not only as a diagnostic marker, but also as a prognostic marker in glioma patients.

Ueda R, Yoshida K, Kawakami Y, et al.
Immunohistochemical analysis of SOX6 expression in human brain tumors.
Brain Tumor Pathol. 2004; 21(3):117-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
We previously demonstrated that the developmentally regulated gene, SOX6, is strongly expressed in glioma cells and in the fetal brain, but only faintly in the normal adult brain. Recent studies have indicated that brain tumor cells may share antigens, signaling systems, and behavior with neural stem/progenitor cells. To test the validity of this proposition, we analyzed the expression of SOX6 in various human central nervous system (CNS) tumors. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that astrocytic and oligodendroglial tumors expressed SOX6; neuronal-glial cell tumors (central neurocytoma) and embryonal tumors (medulloblastoma), which arise from multipotential stem cell precursors, also showed a high intensity of SOX6 staining. In contrast, ependymal tumors (ependymoma and subependymoma), meningioma, and schwannoma, which are all well differentiated tumors, showed either no staining or only faint staining for SOX6. These results suggest that SOX6 may be expressed in bipotential or multipotential cells capable of neuronal and glial differentiation, but not in fully differentiated cells. SOX6 may be a useful marker for the diagnosis of tumors arising from immature bipotential cells that may differentiate into neuronal and glial cells.

Ueda R, Yoshida K, Kawakami Y, et al.
Expression of a transcriptional factor, SOX6, in human gliomas.
Brain Tumor Pathol. 2004; 21(1):35-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
By screening a human testis cDNA library with glioma patients' sera, we isolated a transcriptional factor, SOX6. Here, we analyzed SOX6 expression in gliomas having a range of malignancy grades using immunostaining. Murine Sox6 is a transcriptional factor that is specifically expressed in the developing central nervous system and in the early stages of chondrogenesis in mouse embryos. The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) revealed that the SOX6 gene was more highly expressed in glioma tissues and fetal brain than in normal adult brain and other cancer cells, except melanoma cells. Immunohistochemical analysis with the anti-SOX6 antibody showed that all the glioma tissues analyzed (14 glioblastomas, 14 anaplastic astrocytomas, 3 anaplastic oligoastrocytomas, 5 diffuse astrocytomas, 1 oligodendroglioma, and 1 pilocytic astrocytoma) expressed SOX6 in tumor cells, but only a few SOX6-positive cells were detected in nonneoplastic tissues from the cerebral cortex. These results indicate that the developmentally regulated transcription factor SOX6 may be a potential diagnostic marker for gliomas.

Ueda R, Iizuka Y, Yoshida K, et al.
Identification of a human glioma antigen, SOX6, recognized by patients' sera.
Oncogene. 2004; 23(7):1420-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
To identify tumor antigens for glioma, a human testis cDNA library was screened by serological identification of antigens by recombinant expression cloning with sera from glioma patients. In this screening, the most frequently isolated antigen was SOX6, an Sry-related high-mobility group (HMG) box-containing gene. SOX6 is a transcriptional factor that is specifically expressed in the developing central nervous system and in the early stages of chondrogenesis in mouse embryos. IgG antibodies against SOX6 were detected in sera from 12 of 36 glioma patients (33.3%), 0 of 14 patients with other brain disease (0%), and one of 54 other cancer patients (1.9%). In sera from 37 healthy individuals, no IgG responses against SOX6 were detected, except in an elderly female. Furthermore, Western blot and ELISA analyses with sera from glioma patients revealed that the DNA-binding domain, the HMG box of SOX6, might be a dominant epitope of IgGs against SOX6. RT-PCR and Northern blot analysis revealed that the SOX6 gene was more highly expressed in glioma tissues than in normal adult tissues, except testis. Western blot analysis with an anti-SOX6 antibody demonstrated that the SOX6 protein was expressed in glioma tissues, but not in normal adult brain tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis with the anti-SOX6 antibody showed that all the glioma tissues analysed expressed SOX6 in tumor cells, but only a few SOX6-positive cells were detected in non-neoplastic tissues from the cerebral cortex. In summary, these results indicate that the developmentally regulated transcription factor SOX6 is aberrantly expressed in glioma and specifically recognized by IgGs from glioma patients' sera.

Zafarana G, Gillis AJ, van Gurp RJ, et al.
Coamplification of DAD-R, SOX5, and EKI1 in human testicular seminomas, with specific overexpression of DAD-R, correlates with reduced levels of apoptosis and earlier clinical manifestation.
Cancer Res. 2002; 62(6):1822-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
Seminomas and nonseminomas represent the invasive stages of testicular (TGCTs) of adolescents and adults. Although TGCTs are characterized by extra copies of the short arm of chromosome 12, the genetic basis for gain of 12p in the pathogenesis of this cancer is not yet understood. We have demonstrated that gain of 12p is related to invasive growth and that amplification of specific 12p sequences, i.e., 12p11.2-p12.1, correlates with reduced apoptosis in the tumors. Here we show that three known genes map within the newly determined shortest region of overlap of amplification (SROA): DAD-R, SOX5, and EKI1. Whereas EKI1 maps close to the telomeric region of the SROA, DAD-R is the first gene at the centromeric region within the 12p amplicon. Although all three genes are amplified to the same level within the SROA, expression of DAD-R is significantly up-regulated in seminomas with the restricted 12p amplification compared with seminomas without this amplicon. DAD-R is also highly expressed in nonseminomas of various histologies and derived cell lines, both lacking such amplification. This finding is of particular interest because seminomas with the restricted 12p amplification and nonseminomas are manifested clinically in the third decade of life and show a low degree of apoptosis. In contrast, seminomas lacking a restricted 12p amplification, showing significantly lower levels of DAD-R with pronounced apoptosis, manifest clinically in the fourth decade of life. A low level of DAD-R expression is also observed in normal testicular parenchyma and in parenchyma containing the precursor cells of this cancer, i.e., carcinoma in situ. Therefore, elevated DAD-R expression in seminomas and nonseminomas correlates with invasive growth and a reduced level of apoptosis associated with an earlier clinical presentation. These data implicate DAD-R as a candidate gene responsible in part for the pathological effects resulting from gain of 12p sequences in TGCTs. In addition, our results also imply differences in expression regulation of DAD-R between seminomas and nonseminomas.

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