Members of the large SOX family of transcription factors are widely conserved and at least 20 are found in mammals. Structurally SOX proteins exhibit a high mobility group (HMG) motif that binds the DNA minor groove. SOX family members are often found in multiprotein complexes that regulate their ability to affect transcription. SOX proteins play important roles in early development and are often used as markers to assess the differentiation of specific cell lineages.
SOX2 is a member of the SOX (SRY-like HMG-box gene) transcription factor family involved in the regulation of embryonic development and in the determination of cell fate. SOX2 is predominantly expressed in immature and undifferentiated cells of the neural epithelium of the entire central nervous system. SOX2 plays a key role in determining the first three lineages present at implantation, and in regulating cell proliferation and differentiation in the developing peripheral nervous system.