Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 15, pp 2677–2696 | Cite as

Pleiotropic function of SRY-related HMG box transcription factor 4 in regulation of tumorigenesis

  • Seyed Mehdi Jafarnejad
  • Gholamreza Safaee Ardekani
  • Mazyar Ghaffari
  • Gang Li


In addition to their critical roles in embryonic development, cell fate decision, and differentiation, members of Sox (Sry-related high-mobility group box) family of transcription factors including Sox4 have been implicated in various cancers. Multiple studies have revealed an increased expression along with specific oncogenic function of Sox4 in tumors, while others observed a reduced expression of Sox4 in different types of malignancies and suppression of tumor initiation or progression by this protein. More interestingly, the prognostic value of Sox4 is debated due to obvious differences between various reports as well as inconsistencies within specific studies. This review summarizes our current understanding of Sox4 expression pattern and its transcription-dependent, as well as transcription-independent, functions in tumor initiation or progression and its correlation with patient survival. We also discuss the existing discrepancies between different reports and their possible explanations.


Cancer Sox4 Oncogene Tumor suppressor 



This work was supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (MOP-84559, MOP-93810 and MOP-110974), Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (2011-700714) and Canadian Dermatology Foundation to G.L. S.M.J and R.S.A. are recipients of the trainee award from Canadian Institute of Health Research Skin Research Training Centre. S.M.J. is a recipient of Roman M. Babicki Fellowship and the University of British Columbia Graduate Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Basel 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seyed Mehdi Jafarnejad
    • 1
  • Gholamreza Safaee Ardekani
    • 1
  • Mazyar Ghaffari
    • 2
  • Gang Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, Jack Bell Research CentreUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.The Vancouver Prostate Centre, Vancouver General HospitalUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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