The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: 321 - 326 (2001)

Vol 45, Issue 1

Special Issue: The Spemann-Mangold Organizer

Roles of Sox factors in neural determination: conserved signaling in evolution?

Published: 1 February 2001

Y Sasai

Department of Medical Embryology and Neurobiology, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Japan.


Neural differentiation in amphibian embryos is initiated by the neural inducers emanating from the Spemann-Mangold organizer. The fate of uncommitted ectoderm is determined by graded BMP activity along the dorsal-ventral axis. Several transcriptional regulators acting in early neural differentiation have been identified, including Sox, Zic, Pou, HLH and Fox factors. In this paper, I review recent molecular studies on neural determination, focusing mainly on Sox factors. I also discuss the possible conservation of regulatory factors in neural differentiation, comparing Xenopus and Drosophila counterparts.

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