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SOX11 gene

SRY-box transcription factor 11

Normal Function

The SOX11 gene provides instructions for making a protein that plays a critical role in the development of the brain and nerve cells (neurons). This protein is a transcription factor, which means it attaches (binds) to specific regions of DNA and coordinates with other proteins to turn on particular genes. 

Studies suggest that the SOX11 protein may also be able to regulate the activity of genes involved in brain and nerve cell development through a different process known as chromatin remodeling. Chromatin is the network of DNA and protein that packages DNA into chromosomes. The structure of chromatin can be changed (remodeled) to alter how tightly regions of DNA are packaged. Chromatin remodeling is one way gene expression is regulated during development; when DNA is tightly packed, gene expression is often lower than when DNA is loosely packed. 

The activity (expression) of the SOX11 gene is controlled by chromatin remodeling by special protein groups called SWI/SNF complexes. 

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Coffin-Siris syndrome

At least 14 variants (also known as mutations) in the SOX11 gene have been found to cause Coffin-Siris syndrome. This condition is characterized by intellectual disability, abnormalities of the fifth (pinky) fingers or toes, and characteristic facial features that are described as coarse. Most SOX11 gene variants involved in Coffin-Siris syndrome alter the SOX11 protein or prevent its production. These changes reduce the ability of the SOX11 protein to regulate the activity of genes, including those important for development of the brain and nerve cells. Altered gene activity can disrupt development of the brain and other tissues and organs, which could explain the diverse signs and symptoms of Coffin-Siris syndrome.

More About This Health Condition

Other Names for This Gene

  • SRY (sex determining region Y)-box 11
  • SRY-box 11
  • SRY-related HMG-box gene 11

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Gene and Variant Databases


  • Dodonova SO, Zhu F, Dienemann C, Taipale J, Cramer P. Nucleosome-bound SOX2 and SOX11 structures elucidate pioneer factor function. Nature. 2020 Apr;580(7805):669-672. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2195-y. Epub 2020 Apr 22. Citation on PubMed
  • Hempel A, Pagnamenta AT, Blyth M, Mansour S, McConnell V, Kou I, Ikegawa S, Tsurusaki Y, Matsumoto N, Lo-Castro A, Plessis G, Albrecht B, Battaglia A, Taylor JC, Howard MF, Keays D, Sohal AS; DDD Collaboration; Kuhl SJ, Kini U, McNeill A. Deletions and de novo mutations of SOX11 are associated with a neurodevelopmental disorder with features of Coffin-Siris syndrome. J Med Genet. 2016 Mar;53(3):152-62. doi: 10.1136/jmedgenet-2015-103393. Epub 2015 Nov 5. Citation on PubMed
  • Ninkovic J, Steiner-Mezzadri A, Jawerka M, Akinci U, Masserdotti G, Petricca S, Fischer J, von Holst A, Beckers J, Lie CD, Petrik D, Miller E, Tang J, Wu J, Lefebvre V, Demmers J, Eisch A, Metzger D, Crabtree G, Irmler M, Poot R, Gotz M. The BAF complex interacts with Pax6 in adult neural progenitors to establish a neurogenic cross-regulatory transcriptional network. Cell Stem Cell. 2013 Oct 3;13(4):403-18. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2013.07.002. Epub 2013 Aug 8. Citation on PubMed
  • Schrier Vergano S, Santen G, Wieczorek D, Wollnik B, Matsumoto N, Deardorff MA. Coffin-Siris Syndrome. 2013 Apr 4 [updated 2021 Aug 12]. In: Adam MP, Feldman J, Mirzaa GM, Pagon RA, Wallace SE, Bean LJH, Gripp KW, Amemiya A, editors. GeneReviews(R) [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2024. Available from Citation on PubMed
  • Sekiguchi F, Tsurusaki Y, Okamoto N, Teik KW, Mizuno S, Suzumura H, Isidor B, Ong WP, Haniffa M, White SM, Matsuo M, Saito K, Phadke S, Kosho T, Yap P, Goyal M, Clarke LA, Sachdev R, McGillivray G, Leventer RJ, Patel C, Yamagata T, Osaka H, Hisaeda Y, Ohashi H, Shimizu K, Nagasaki K, Hamada J, Dateki S, Sato T, Chinen Y, Awaya T, Kato T, Iwanaga K, Kawai M, Matsuoka T, Shimoji Y, Tan TY, Kapoor S, Gregersen N, Rossi M, Marie-Laure M, McGregor L, Oishi K, Mehta L, Gillies G, Lockhart PJ, Pope K, Shukla A, Girisha KM, Abdel-Salam GMH, Mowat D, Coman D, Kim OH, Cordier MP, Gibson K, Milunsky J, Liebelt J, Cox H, El Chehadeh S, Toutain A, Saida K, Aoi H, Minase G, Tsuchida N, Iwama K, Uchiyama Y, Suzuki T, Hamanaka K, Azuma Y, Fujita A, Imagawa E, Koshimizu E, Takata A, Mitsuhashi S, Miyatake S, Mizuguchi T, Miyake N, Matsumoto N. Genetic abnormalities in a large cohort of Coffin-Siris syndrome patients. J Hum Genet. 2019 Dec;64(12):1173-1186. doi: 10.1038/s10038-019-0667-4. Epub 2019 Sep 17. Citation on PubMed
  • Tsurusaki Y, Koshimizu E, Ohashi H, Phadke S, Kou I, Shiina M, Suzuki T, Okamoto N, Imamura S, Yamashita M, Watanabe S, Yoshiura K, Kodera H, Miyatake S, Nakashima M, Saitsu H, Ogata K, Ikegawa S, Miyake N, Matsumoto N. De novo SOX11 mutations cause Coffin-Siris syndrome. Nat Commun. 2014 Jun 2;5:4011. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5011. Citation on PubMed

The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.