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Keywords:

  • sox;
  • transcription factor;
  • regulation;
  • melanocyte;
  • melanoma;
  • development;
  • adult

Summary

Over 10 years have passed since the first Sox gene was implicated in melanocyte development. Since then, we have discovered that SOX5, SOX9, SOX10 and SOX18 all participate as transcription factors that affect key melanocytic genes in both regulatory and modulatory fashions. Both SOX9 and SOX10 play major roles in the establishment and normal function of the melanocyte; SOX10 has been shown to heavily influence melanocyte development and SOX9 has been implicated in melanogenesis in the adult. Despite these advances, the precise cellular and molecular details of how these SOX proteins are regulated and interact during all stages of the melanocyte life cycle remain unknown. Improper regulation of SOX9 or SOX10 is also associated with cancerous transformation, and thus understanding the normal function of SOX proteins in the melanocyte will be key to revealing how these proteins contribute to melanoma.