[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of microRNAs in regulating oligodendrocyte (OL) differentiation and myelination, we utilized transgenic mice in which microRNA processing was disrupted in OL precursor cells (OPCs) and OLs by targeted deletion of Dicer1. We found that inhibition of OPC-OL miRNA processing disrupts normal CNS myelination and that OPCs lacking mature miRNAs fail to differentiate normally in vitro. We identified three miRNAs (miR-219, miR-138, and miR-338) that are induced 10-100x during OL differentiation; the most strongly induced of these, miR-219, is necessary and sufficient to promote OL differentiation, and partially rescues OL differentiation defects caused by total miRNA loss. miR-219 directly represses the expression of PDGFRalpha, Sox6, FoxJ3, and ZFP238 proteins, all of which normally help to promote OPC proliferation. Together, these findings show that miR-219 plays a critical role in coupling differentiation to proliferation arrest in the OL lineage, enabling the rapid transition from proliferating OPCs to myelinating OLs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kinesin motor protein Kif1b has previously been implicated in the axonal transport of mitochondria and synaptic vesicles. More recently, KIF1B has been associated with susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS). Here we show that Kif1b is required for the localization of mbp (myelin basic protein) mRNA to processes of myelinating oligodendrocytes in zebrafish. We observe the ectopic appearance of myelin-like membrane in kif1b mutants, coincident with the ectopic localization of myelin proteins in kif1b mutant oligodendrocyte cell bodies. These observations suggest that oligodendrocytes localize certain mRNA molecules, namely those encoding small basic proteins such as MBP, to prevent aberrant effects of these proteins elsewhere in the cell. We also find that Kif1b is required for outgrowth of some of the longest axons in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Our data demonstrate previously unknown functions of kif1b in vivo and provide insights into its possible roles in MS.