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SOX9 is required for maintenance of the pancreatic progenitor cell pool

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ralf KistORCiD


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The factors necessary to maintain organ-specific progenitor cells are poorly understood and yet of extreme clinical importance. Here, we identify the transcription factor SOX9 as the first specific marker and maintenance factor of multipotential progenitors during pancreas organogenesis. In the developing pancreas, SOX9 expression is restricted to a mitotically active. Notch-responsive subset of PDX1+ pluripotent progenitors and is absent from committed endocrine precursors or differentiated cells. Similar to Notch mutations, organ-specific Sox9 inactivation in mice causes severe pancreatic hypoplasia resulting from depletion of the progenitor cell pool. We show that Sox9 maintains pancreatic progenitors by stimulating their proliferation, survival, and persistence in an undifferentiated state. Our finding that SOX9 regulates the Notch-effector HES1 suggests a Notch-dependent mechanism and establishes a possible genetic link between SOX factors and Notch. These findings will be of major significance for the development of in vitro protocols for cell replacement therapies. © 2007 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Seymour PA, Freude KK, Tran MN, Mayes EE, Jensen J, Kist R, Scherer G, Sander M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Year: 2007

Volume: 104

Issue: 6

Pages: 1865-1870

Print publication date: 06/02/2007

ISSN (print): 0027-8424

ISSN (electronic): 1091-6490

Publisher: National Academy of Sciences


DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0609217104

PubMed id: 17267606


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