[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuregulins have been implicated in a number of events in cells in the oligodendrocyte lineage, including enhanced survival, mitosis, migration, and differentiation. At least two signaling pathways have been shown to be involved in neuregulin signaling: the phosphatidylinositol (PI)-3 kinase and the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways. In the present studies, we examined the signaling pathway involved in the survival function of heregulin, focusing on heregulin-induced changes in Akt activity in cultured glial cells, and the consequences of Akt activation in cells in the oligodendrocyte lineage. Heregulin binds erbB receptors, and in our studies, primary cultures of both oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and differentiating oligodendrocytes expressed erbB2, erbB3, and erbB4 receptors. In C6 glioma cells and primary cultures of oligodendrocytes, heregulin induced time- and dose-dependent Akt phosphorylation at Ser(473) in a wortmannin-sensitive manner. To investigate further the signaling pathway for heregulin in glial cells, BAD was overexpressed in C6 glioma cells. In these cells, heregulin induced phosphorylation of BAD at Ser(136). Apoptosis of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells induced by growth factor deprivation was effectively blocked by heregulin in a wortmannin-sensitive manner. Overexpression of dominant negative Akt but not of wild-type Akt by adenoviral gene transfer in primary cultures of both oligodendrocytes and their progenitors induced significant apoptosis through activation of the caspase cascade. The present data suggest that the survival function of heregulin is mediated through the PI-3 kinase/Akt pathway in cells in the oligodendrocyte lineage and that the Akt pathway may be quite important for survival of cells in this lineage.
Journal of Neuroscience 11/2000; 20(20):7622-30. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteolipid protein (PLP) and its alternatively spliced isoform, DM20, are the main intrinsic membrane proteins of compact myelin in the CNS. PLP and DM20 are also expressed by Schwann cells, the myelin-forming cells in the PNS, and are necessary for normal PNS function in humans. We have investigated the expression of PLP in the PNS by examining transgenic mice expressing a LacZ transgene under the control of the PLP promoter. In these animals, myelinating Schwann cells expressed beta-galactosidase more prominently than nonmyelinating Schwann cells. PLP/DM20 mRNA levels, but not those of LacZ mRNA, increased during sciatic nerve development and decreased after axotomy, with resultant Wallerian degeneration. PLP/DM20 transcription rates, in nuclear run off experiments, however, did not increase in developing rat sciatic nerve despite robust increases in PLP/DM20 mRNA levels during the same period. In RNAse protection studies, PLP mRNA levels fell to undetectable levels following nerve transection whereas levels of DM20 were essentially unchanged despite both being transcribed from the same promoter. Finally, cotransfection studies demonstrated that PLP-GFP, but not DM20-GFP mRNA is down-regulated in Schwann cells cultured in the absence of forskolin. Taken together these data demonstrate that steady state levels of PLP mRNA are regulated at a posttranscriptional level in Schwann cells, and that this regulation is mediated by Schwann cell-axonal contact. Since the difference between these two mRNAs is a 105-bp sequence in PLP and not in DM20, this sequence is likely to play a role in the regulation of PLP mRNA.
Journal of Neurobiology 08/2000; 44(1):7-19. · 3.05 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A complete understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation and repair of the central nervous system myelin sheath requires an unambiguous identification and isolation of in vivo-differentiated myelin-forming cells. In order to develop a novel tool for the analysis of in vivo-differentiated oligodendrocytes, we generated transgenic mice expressing a red-shifted variant of the green fluorescent protein under the control of the proteolipid protein promoter. We demonstrate here that green fluorescent protein-derived fluorescence in the central nervous system of 9-day- to 7-week-old mice is restricted to mature oligodendrocytes, as determined by its spatiotemporal appearance and by both immunocytochemical and electrophysiological criteria. Green fluorescent protein-positive oligodendrocytes could easily be visualized in live and fixed tissue. Furthermore, we show that this convenient and reliable identification now allows detailed physiological analyses of differentiated oligodendrocytes in situ. In addition, we developed a novel tissue culture system for in vivo-differentiated oligodendrocytes. Initial data using this system indicate that, for oligodendrocytes isolated after differentiation in vivo, as yet unidentified factors secreted by astrocytes are necessary for survival and/or reappearance of a mature phenotype in culture.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) is a dysmyelinating disorder of the central nervous system typically caused by duplications or missense mutations of the proteolipid protein (PLP) gene. Most investigators have found that peripheral nerve function and structure is normal in PMD patients. We have found that null mutations of the PLP gene cause demyelinating peripheral neuropathy, whereas duplications and a proline 14 to leucine mutation do not affect nerve function. A family with a nonsense mutation at position 144, which affects only PLP but not the alternatively spliced gene product DM20, has a very mild syndrome, including normal peripheral nerve function. Our findings suggest that DM20 alone is sufficient to maintain normal nerve function and that there may be domains of PLP/DM20 that have a relatively more active role in the peripheral nervous system compared with that in the central nervous system.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 10/1999; 883:351-65. · 4.38 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Demyelination of the central nervous system is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis and its widely used animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Recent studies using magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy on multiple sclerosis patients have revealed abnormalities of central nervous system normal-appearing white matter suggesting that micro-demyelination and/or extensive membrane turnover accompanies and perhaps precedes the appearance of manifest inflammatory lesions. In the present study, we induced EAE in SWXJ mice and analyzed digitized images of immunocytochemically stained spinal cord for detection of myelin proteolipid protein (PLP). We found that digitized image analysis is a highly sensitive, objective methodology for measuring the extent of myelin loss during EAE. Our data show that two-thirds of the measured reduction of myelin PLP occurring in EAE spinal cord could be attributed to a loss of myelin in normal-appearing white matter. The marked decrease in detection of PLP was accompanied by a corresponding decrease in PLP mRNA in the central nervous system. Our results indicate that during acute EAE, diffuse myelin abnormalities extend far beyond visibly detectable inflammatory foci and are characterized by a global decrease in the expression of myelin genes and their encoded proteins.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 12/1998; 54(3):364-72. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify putative sequences that direct cell type-specific expression and/or enhance proteolipid protein (PLP) gene expression, glial or nonglial cells were transfected with various PLP-luciferase constructs that collectively span the entire mouse PLP-specific DNA present in a transgene known to direct cell type specificity in transgenic mice. These constructs were transfected into murine oligodendrocyte cell lines that transcribe the PLP gene and, hence, should contain the requisite trans-acting factors necessary for PLP gene expression. Mouse NIH/3T3 fibroblasts were used as a nonglial model. We have finely mapped the PLP promoter region for transcriptional regulatory elements and demonstrate both positive and negative elements, none of which appear to extinguish expression in nonglial cells. The 5'-flanking PLP DNA tested did not enhance the basal herpes simplex-1 virus thymidine kinase (TK) promoter, nor did PLP sequences present in the distal half of intron 1. The 5' portion of intron 1 did enhance TK promoter activity, suggesting that this region of the gene may contain enhancer elements that modulate PLP gene expression; however, the enhancement did not appear to be cell type-specific. Intriguingly, a 541 bp region of the intron that significantly enhanced TK promoter activity contains multiple JC virus repeated elements and other elements known to be important in restricting the virus to oligodendrocytes. These results suggest that intron 1 sequences may modulate expression of the PLP gene.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 01/1998; 50(6):917-27. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the more complex developmental processes occurring postnatally in the CNS is the formation of the myelin sheath by oligodendrocytes. To examine the molecular events that take place during myelination, we isolated oligodendrocyte-derived cDNA clones, one of which (p421.HB) represents a putative alternatively spliced isoform of rat brain-specific phosphodiesterase I (PD-Ialpha) and a species homolog of the human cytokine autotaxin. Analysis of the structural composition of the p421.HB/PD-Ialpha protein suggests a transmembrane-bound ectoenzyme, which, in addition to the phosphodiesterase-active site contains presumed cell recognition and Ca2+-binding domains. Consequently, it may be involved in extracellular signaling events. Expression of p421.HB/PD-Ialpha is enriched in brain and spinal cord, where its mRNA can be detected in oligodendrocytes and in cells of the choroid plexus. Expression in the brain increases during development with an intermediate peak of expression around the time of active myelination and maximal expression in the adult. We have identified four presumably alternatively spliced isoforms, two of which appear to be CNS-specific. Decreased levels of p421.HB/PD-Ialpha mRNA in the dysmyelinating mouse mutant jimpy, but not shiverer, suggest a role for p421.HB/PD-Ialpha during active myelination and/or late stages of oligodendrocyte differentiation. Furthermore, p421.HB/PD-Ialpha mRNA levels were reduced in the CNS at onset of clinical symptoms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. These data together implicate the importance of p421.HB/PD-Ialpha in oligodendrocyte function, possibly through cell-cell and/or cell-extracellular matrix recognition.
Journal of Neuroscience 01/1998; 17(23):9095-103. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The major stages of oligodendrocyte differentiation are defined by the presence or absence of certain myelin-specific proteins. Events leading to the successful processing of these proteins, such as the folding, assembly, and trafficking of these proteins through the biosynthetic pathway, are largely undefined. In the present study, we have examined both cultured primary oligodendrocytes and immortalized oligodendrocyte cell lines for the presence of molecular chaperones and/or vesicle transport proteins. We find that a select set of these proteins are expressed relatively early in oligodendrocyte differentiation, whereas a characteristically different set of proteins are expressed at later stages of oligodendrocyte differentiation. In other systems, these proteins participate in the folding and assembly of protein complexes, in the prevention of protein aggregation, as well as the trafficking of proteins via vesicles to specific subcellular destinations including the plasma membrane. Some of the chaperones and/or vesicle transport proteins investigated in this study may play a pivotal role in the certain aspect of myelin biogenesis.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 01/1998; 50(5):769-80. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transgenic techniques are generating new strains of animals that are of great importance for many neurological research projects. This includes new animal models of human diseases that should allow analysis of disease etiology and treatment. The insertion of new genetic material into the mouse genome enables the investigator to study the effects of overexpression of normal or mutated genes under a variety of experimental conditions. The use of cell-specific and/or developmentally regulated promoters permits studies on the expression of the specific DNA in selected cells within the nervous system at important developmental stages. This article focuses on the techniques for generating transgenic mice, noting specific advantages or problems that should be considered when designing a transgenic project. The use of reporter genes such as the LacZ gene is discussed, using the particular example of the myelin proteolipid protein promoter directing expression of the LacZ gene in differentiating oligodendrocytes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ras GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) are negative regulators of ras, which controls proliferation and differentiation in many cells. Ras GAPs have been found in a variety of species from yeast to mammals. We describe here a newly identified mammalian GAP, GapIII, which was obtained by differential screening of a rat oligodendrocyte cDNA library. GapIII putatively encodes a 834 amino acid protein with a predicted molecular weight of 96 kDa, which contains a consensus GAP-related domain (GRD). The protein encoded by this cDNA has high homology with Gap1m, which was recently identified as a putative mammalian homolog of Drosophila Gap1. These proteins contain three structural domains, an N-terminal calcium-dependent phospholipid binding domain, GRD, and a C-terminal PH/Btk domain. Because of the sequence homology and the structural similarities of this protein with Gap1m, we hypothesize that GapIII and Gap1m may be members of a mammalian GAP gene family, separate from p120GAP, neurofibromin (NF1), and IQGAP. To confirm the GapIII protein activity, constructs containing different GapIII-GRD domains were transformed into iral mutant yeast to determine their relative ability to replace IRA1 functionally. Constructs that contained essentially the full-length protein (all three domains), the GRD alone, or the GRD plus PH/Btk domain suppressed heat shock sensitivity of ira1, whereas constructs that contained the GRD with part of the PH/Btk domain had only a weak ability to suppress heat shock sensitivity. These results suggest that the GapIII GRD itself is sufficient to down-regulate ras proteins in yeast. Expression of GapIII mRNA (4.2 kb) was examined by Northern analysis and in situ hybridization. This mRNA was expressed at highest levels in the brain, where its expression increased with development. Lower levels of the mRNA were expressed in the spleen and lung. Among neural cells, GapIII mRNA was expressed in neurons and oligodendrocytes, but not in astrocytes. Interestingly, the expression pattern in brain is reminiscent of type 1 NF1 expression reported by Gutmann et al. (Cell Growth Differ in press, 1995). We propose that in addition to p120GAP and neurofibromin, the GapIII/Gap1m family may be important for modulating ras activity in neurons and oligodendrocytes during normal brain development and in particular in the adult brain.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 09/1995; 41(6):846-58. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dissociated brain cell cultures are a useful model for investigating development and differentiation of oligodendrocytes in vitro. The current studies compare the developmental patterns of expression for oligodendrocyte lineage/myelin markers in both primary and secondary oligodendrocyte cultures derived from mouse and rat neonates. The rat and mouse dissociated brain cell cultures express the same myelin-specific antigens, but mouse oligodendrocytes produce a larger and more elaborate sheet-like membrane than rat oligodendrocytes, and some of the myelin markers (O4, GC, and MBP) show more intense membrane staining in mouse cultures. GD3 appears to be a good oligodendrocyte marker for rat cells, but it is nonspecific in mouse cells. There are fewer oligodendrocytes in mouse cultures, and they appear to require a longer differentiation time than rat oligodendrocytes. These same results are also observed in secondary oligodendrocyte cultures, although in general late myelin markers such as MBP and PLP are expressed at a much lower level in mouse cells than rat cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myelin gene expression in normal oligodendrocytes (OLG) depends on developmentally regulated protein kinase C (PKC) enzyme activity (Asotra and Macklin: J Neurosci Res 34:571-588, 1993). We studied the developmental expression of the Ca(++)-dependent PKC-alpha, -beta 1, -beta II and -gamma isozymes, and the Ca(++)-independent PKC-delta, -epsilon, -zeta and -eta isozymes in enriched rat brain OLG cultures. In A2B5+ O-2A progenitors, only PKC-delta, PKC-epsilon and PKC-zeta were detected immunocytochemically. In 04+ proligondendrocytes, PKC-beta I, -delta and -zeta were expressed moderately and low levels of PKC-alpha and -epsilon were detected. GD3+ OLG, GC+ OLG and MBP+ OLG showed increased levels of PKC-alpha, -beta I, -delta and -zeta isozymes. PKC-beta II, -gamma and -eta were poorly expressed in OLG. On immunoblots, PKC-alpha was present early and increased continually up to 18 days but PKC-beta I increased until 12 days in cultured OLG. High levels of PKC-delta, PKC-epsilon and PKC-zeta, the most abundant PKC isozymes in OLG, were maintained up to 12 days and were then slightly reduced. Interestingly, relatively high levels of PKC-alpha, PKC-beta I, PKC-beta II, PKC-gamma and PKC-epsilon isozymes were detected in purified myelin membrane although greater levels of PKC-delta were found in OLG than in purified myelin. Thus, most of the PKC isozymes found in cultured OLG were also present in myelin, although at different levels. Treatment with 50 nM 4 beta-phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PDB) caused a delayed downregulation of PKC-delta levels after 8 hr without modulating the expression of other PKC isozymes in 1-day OLG; in the 3-day-old and 6-day-old OLG, PDB downmodulated PKC-beta I, -delta and epsilon isozymes with only a minor effect on PKC-alpha and no reduction in PKC-zeta. Induction or downmodulation of individual PKC isozymes by phorbol esters appears to depend on the differentiation state of OLG. These data suggest that PKC-beta I, -delta and -epsilon isozymes have an important function in different cellular events of OLG differentiation. We conclude that the PKC-dependent modulation of myelin gene expression in OLG results predominantly from the Ca(++)-dependent PKC-beta I isozyme activity and the CA(++)-independent PKC-delta and PKC-epsilon activitives in a cell differentiation state-dependent manner.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Journal of Neuroscience Research 11/1994; 39(3):273-89. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transgenic mice were generated with a fusion gene carrying a portion of the murine myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) gene, including the first intron, fused to the E. coli LacZ gene. Three transgenic lines were derived and all lines expressed the transgene in central nervous system white matter as measured by a histochemical assay for the detection of beta-galactosidase activity. PLP-LacZ transgene expression was regulated in both a spatial and temporal manner, consistent with endogenous PLP expression. Moreover, the transgene was expressed specifically in oligodendrocytes from primary mixed glial cultures prepared from transgenic mouse brains and appeared to be developmentally regulated in vitro as well. Transgene expression occurred in embryos, presumably in pre- or nonmyelinating cells, rather extensively throughout the peripheral nervous system and within very discrete regions of the central nervous system. Surprisingly, beta-galactosidase activity was localized predominantly in the myelin in these transgenic animals, suggesting that the NH2-terminal 13 amino acids of PLP, which were present in the PLP-LacZ gene product, were sufficient to target the protein to the myelin membrane. Thus, the first half of the PLP gene contains sequences sufficient to direct both spatial and temporal gene regulation and to encode amino acids important in targeting the protein to the myelin membrane.
The Journal of Cell Biology 11/1993; 123(2):443-54. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mouse myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) gene has been studied in normal and jimpymsd mice. Potential upstream regulatory regions of the normal gene have been cloned and mapped, but when these regions were studied in jimpymsd mice by Southern blots, no alterations were observed, relative to the normal gene. To assess whether the low ratio of PLP to DM20 proteins in this mutant reflected an altered PLP/DM20 ratio mRNAs, S1 nuclease analyses were undertaken, which demonstrated that at all ages studied in both jimpy and jimpymsd mice, PLP mRNA was elevated above DM20 mRNA. When exon 3 (the site of the alternative splice signal for DM20 mRNA) of the jimpymsd PLP gene was sequenced, no mutation was identified. The transcription of the PLP gene in normal and mutant animals was studied. The transcription rate increases in normal animals with development, and in very young jimpymsd or jimpy mice, the transcription rate of the PLP gene was close to that of age-matched normal animals. However, by 10 days of age, the transcription rate of this gene in both mutants was significantly below that of age-matched controls. The transcription rate of the myelin basic protein (MBP) gene was also reduced, indicating that expression of both genes is affected by this mutation. In contrast, the transcription rate of the glycerol phosphate dehydrogenase (GPDH) gene, an early marker of oligodendrocytes, is equal to or greater than normal in both mutants. We have confirmed an earlier report of a point mutation in exon 6 of the jimpymsd PLP gene, which converts an alanine to a valine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Journal of Neurochemistry 02/1991; 56(1):163-71. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteolipid protein (PLP) gene expression was studied in the dysmyelinating mouse mutant jimpy(msd) (jpmsd; myelin synthesis deficient) and compared with that in wild-type mice and the allelic mutant, jimpy (jp). Southern analyses of genomic DNA from jpmsd mice revealed no major rearrangements of the PLP gene relative to the wild-type mouse PLP gene. PLP-specific mRNA levels were significantly reduced in these mutant mice, although both the 3.2- and 2.4-kilobase PLP-specific mRNAs were seen. Also, no size differences in either PLP or DM20 mRNAs were found by S1 nuclease assays of brain RNA from either jpmsd or wild-type mice. Both PLP and DM20 protein were detectable at low levels in jpmsd brain homogenates, and these proteins comigrated with PLP and DM20 protein from normal mice. Western analyses showed an altered PLP:DM20 ratio in jpmsd mice relative to wild-type mice; DM20 levels exceeded PLP levels. It is surprising that a similar pattern of expression was seen in normal mice at less than 10 days of age: DM20 protein expression preceding PLP expression. Thus, jpmsd mice are capable of synthesizing normal PLP and DM20 protein; however, the PLP gene defect has affected the normal developmental pattern of expression for these two proteins.
Journal of Neurochemistry 09/1988; 51(2):360-9. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The myelin proteolipid protein gene was characterized in jimpy mice to identify the specific mutation that produces dysmyelination, oligodendrocyte cell death, and death of the animal by 30 days of age. Exon 5 and flanking intron segments were isolated from jimpy proteolipid protein genomic clones and sequenced. A single nucleotide difference was noted between the normal and jimpy proteolipid protein genes: the conversion of an AG/GT to a GG/GT in the splice acceptor signal preceding exon 5, which apparently destroys the splice signal. Thus, exon 5 of the mouse myelin proteolipid protein gene is skipped during the processing of mRNA, producing a shortened proteolipid protein mRNA.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gene for the mouse myelin proteolipid protein has been isolated and the seven exons have been sequenced. Since the sequence of a rat proteolipid protein cDNA and partial sequence of the human proteolipid protein gene have been determined, it was possible to demonstrate a very high degree of conservation for the proteolipid protein gene exons among species. While there are some nucleotide changes, the protein coding region of the mouse gene encodes protein that is totally conserved relative to both rat and human proteolipid proteins. The regulatory and noncoding regions of the proteolipid protein gene are also highly conserved. The upstream regulatory and 5'-noncoding region of the gene is 92% homologous to the comparable region of the human proteolipid protein gene, and the 3'-noncoding region of the mouse gene is approximately 90% homologous to a rat proteolipid protein cDNA through 2,200 nucleotides of 3'-noncoding DNA. S1 nuclease protection experiments indicated that the major 5'-end for proteolipid protein mRNAs from mouse, rat, human, or baboon is approximately 147-160 nucleotides upstream from the initial methionine codon of the protein coding region. Other S1 nuclease protection experiments indicated the possible existence of an alternative splice site within exon 3, which may produce mRNA for DM20. This mRNA is approximately 100 nucleotides shorter than that for the proteolipid protein, and it is missing the latter half of exon 3, that is, amino acids 116-150 of the proteolipid protein sequence.
Journal of Neuroscience Research 02/1987; 18(3):383-94. · 2.97 Impact Factor