Sox6 enhances erythroid differentiation in human erythroid progenitors

Claudio Cantù, Rossella Ierardi, Ilaria Alborelli, Cristina Fugazza, Letizia Cassinelli, Silvia Piconese, Francesca Bosè, Sergio Ottolenghi, Giuliana Ferrari, Antonella Ronchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sox6 belongs to the Sry (sex-determining region Y)-related high-mobility-group-box family of transcription factors, which control cell-fate specification of many cell types. Here, we explored the role of Sox6 in human erythropoiesis by its overexpression both in the erythroleukemic K562 cell line and in primary erythroid cultures from human cord blood CD34+ cells. Sox6 induced significant erythroid differentiation in both models. K562 cells underwent hemoglobinization and, despite their leukemic origin, died within 9 days after transduction; primary erythroid cultures accelerated their kinetics of erythroid maturation and increased the number of cells that reached the final enucleation step. Searching for direct Sox6 targets, we found SOCS3 (suppressor of cytokine signaling-3), a known mediator of cytokine response. Sox6 was bound in vitro and in vivo to an evolutionarily conserved regulatory SOCS3 element, which induced transcriptional activation. SOCS3 overexpression in K562 cells and in primary erythroid cells recapitulated the growth inhibition induced by Sox6, which demonstrates that SOCS3 is a relevant Sox6 effector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3669-3679
Number of pages11
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Mar 31 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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