Allele-specific repression of Sox2 through the long non-coding RNA Sox2ot

Tobias C Messemaker, Selina M van Leeuwen, Patrick R van den Berg, Anke E J 't Jong, Robert-Jan Palstra, Rob C Hoeben, Stefan Semrau, Harald M M Mikkers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The transcription factor Sox2 controls the fate of pluripotent stem cells and neural stem cells. This gatekeeper function requires well-regulated Sox2 levels. We postulated that Sox2 regulation is partially controlled by the Sox2 overlapping long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) gene Sox2ot. Here we show that the RNA levels of Sox2ot and Sox2 are inversely correlated during neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Through allele-specific enhanced transcription of Sox2ot in mouse Sox2eGFP knockin ESCs we demonstrate that increased Sox2ot transcriptional activity reduces Sox2 RNA levels in an allele-specific manner. Enhanced Sox2ot transcription, yielding lower Sox2 RNA levels, correlates with a decreased chromatin interaction of the upstream regulatory sequence of Sox2 and the ESC-specific Sox2 super enhancer. Our study indicates that, in addition to previously reported in trans mechanisms, Sox2ot can regulate Sox2 by an allele-specific mechanism, in particular during development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number386
Pages (from-to)386
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology
  • Neurogenesis
  • RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics
  • SOXB1 Transcription Factors/genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic


Dive into the research topics of 'Allele-specific repression of Sox2 through the long non-coding RNA Sox2ot'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this