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Sox8 is a specific marker for muscle satellite cells and inhibits myogenesis.

Schmidt K., Glaser G., Wernig A., Wegner M., Rosorius O.

Sox8 belongs to a family of transcription regulators characterized by a unique DNA-binding domain known as the high mobility group box. Many Sox proteins play fundamental roles in vertebrate development and differentiation processes. Expression of Sox8 is strong during embryonic muscle development and gradually declines postnatally. In this study, we report that in adult skeletal muscle Sox8 is confined to satellite cells. Down-regulation during myogenic differentiation was also detected in cell culture systems and occurred in parallel with down-regulation of the related Sox9. Overexpression of Sox8 or Sox9 on the other hand disrupted myoblasts in their ability to form myotubes. Concomitantly, expression of MyoD and myogenin decreased and basal as well as MyoD-induced activities of the myogenin promoter were strongly reduced in a Sox8-dependent manner. Our data suggest that Sox8 acts as a specific negative regulator of skeletal muscle differentiation, possibly by interfering with the function of myogenic basic helix-loop-helix proteins.

J. Biol. Chem. 278:29769-29775(2003) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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