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Keywords:

  • cuprizone demyelination;
  • enhancer;
  • gene regulation;
  • gene targeting;
  • myelin proteolipid protein;
  • remyelination

Abstract

Myelin proteolipid protein gene (Plp1) expression is temporally regulated in brain, which peaks during the active myelination period of CNS development. Previous studies with Plp1-lacZ transgenic mice demonstrated that (mouse) Plp1 intron 1 DNA is required for high levels of expression in oligodendrocytes. Deletion-transfection analysis revealed the intron contains a single positive regulatory element operative in the N20.1 oligodendroglial cell line, which was named ASE (antisilencer/enhancer) based on its functional properties in these cells. To investigate the role of the ASE in vivo, the element was deleted from the native gene in mouse using a Cre/lox strategy. Although removal of the ASE from Plp1-lacZ constructs profoundly decreased expression in transfected oligodendroglial cell lines (N20.1 and Oli-neu), the element was dispensable to achieve normal levels of Plp1 gene expression in mouse during development (except perhaps at postnatal day 15) and throughout the remyelination period following cuprizone-induced (acute) demyelination. Thus, it is possible that the ASE is non-functional in vivo, or that loss of the ASE from the native gene in mouse can be compensated for by the presence of other regulatory elements within the Plp1 gene.