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