Int. J. Dev. Biol. 45: 321 - 326 (2001)
© UPV/EHU Press

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

Y Sasai

Department of Medical Embryology and Neurobiology, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Japan. sasai@phy.med.kyoto-u.ac.jp

ABSTRACT 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.