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Olig gene function in CNS development and disease

Authors

  • Keith L. Ligon,

    1. Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Stephen P.J. Fancy,

    1. Centre for Brain Repair and Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • Robin J.M. Franklin,

    1. Centre for Brain Repair and Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
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  • David H. Rowitch

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Rm. 640D, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115
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Abstract

Olig1 and Olig2 encode basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors that are expressed in both the developing and mature vertebrate central nervous system. While numerous studies have established critical functions for Olig genes during the formation of motor neurons and oligodendrocytes of the ventral neural tube, their roles at later stages of development and in adulthood have remained relatively obscure. Recent studies, however, reveal that in the fetal dorsal spinal cord and neural progenitor cells of the adult brain, Olig expression continues to mark, and may regulate, the formation of oligodendroglia. Studies of Olig expression in human brain tumors and repair of demyelinating lesions suggest the possibility of additional functions in a variety of neurological diseases. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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