Sox17 is indispensable for acquisition and maintenance of arterial identity

Monica Corada, Fabrizio Orsenigo, Marco Francesco Morini, Mara Elena Pitulescu, Ganesh Bhat, Daniel Nyqvist, Ferruccio Breviario, Valentina Conti, Anais Briot, M. Luisa Iruela-Arispe, Ralf H. Adams, Elisabetta Dejana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


The functional diversity of the arterial and venous endothelia is regulated through a complex system of signalling pathways and downstream transcription factors. Here we report that the transcription factor Sox17, which is known as a regulator of endoderm and hemopoietic differentiation, is selectively expressed in arteries, and not in veins, in the mouse embryo and in mouse postnatal retina and adult. Endothelial cell-specific inactivation of Sox17 in the mouse embryo is accompanied by a lack of arterial differentiation and vascular remodelling that results in embryo death in utero. In mouse postnatal retina, abrogation of Sox17 expression in endothelial cells leads to strong vascular hypersprouting, loss of arterial identity and large arteriovenous malformations. Mechanistically, Sox17 acts upstream of the Notch system and downstream of the canonical Wnt system. These data introduce Sox17 as a component of the complex signalling network that orchestrates arterial/venous specification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2609
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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