Myelin sheaths are formed with proteins that originated in vertebrate lineages.
ABSTRACT: All vertebrate nervous systems, except those of agnathans, make extensive use of the myelinated fiber, a structure formed by coordinated interplay between neuronal axons and glial cells. Myelinated fibers, by enhancing the speed and efficiency of nerve cell communication allowed gnathostomes to evolve extensively, forming a broad range of diverse lifestyles in most habitable environments. The axon-covering myelin sheaths are structurally and biochemically novel as they contain high portions of lipid and a few prominent low molecular weight proteins often considered unique to myelin. Here we searched genome and EST databases to identify orthologs and paralogs of the following myelin-related proteins: (1) myelin basic protein (MBP), (2) myelin protein zero (MPZ, formerly P0), (3) proteolipid protein (PLP1, formerly PLP), (4) peripheral myelin protein-2 (PMP2, formerly P2), (5) peripheral myelin protein-22 (PMP22) and (6) stathmin-1 (STMN1). Although widely distributed in gnathostome/vertebrate genomes, neither MBP nor MPZ are present in any of nine invertebrate genomes examined. PLP1, which replaced MPZ in tetrapod CNS myelin sheaths, includes a novel 'tetrapod-specific' exon (see also Möbius et al., 2009). Like PLP1, PMP2 first appears in tetrapods and like PLP1 its origins can be traced to invertebrate paralogs. PMP22, with origins in agnathans, and STMN1 with origins in protostomes, existed well before the evolution of gnathostomes. The coordinated appearance of MBP and MPZ with myelin sheaths and of PLP1 with tetrapod CNS myelin suggests interdependence - new proteins giving rise to novel vertebrate structures.
Project description:Demyelination occurs following many neurological insults, most notably in multiple sclerosis (MS). Therapeutics that promote remyelination could slow the neurological decline associated with chronic demyelination; however, in vivo testing of candidate small molecule drugs and signaling cascades known to impact myelination is expensive and labor intensive. Here, we describe the development of a novel zebrafish line which uses the putative promoter of Myelin Protein Zero (mpz), a major structural protein in myelin, to drive expression of Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (mEGFP) specifically in the processes and nascent internodes of myelinating glia. We observe that changes in fluorescence intensity in Tg(mpz:mEGFP) larvae are a reliable surrogate for changes in myelin membrane production per se in live larvae following bath application of drugs. These changes in fluorescence are strongly predictive of changes in myelin-specific mRNAs [mpz, 36K and myelin basic protein (mbp)] and protein production (Mbp). Finally, we observe that certain drugs alter nascent internode number and length, impacting the overall amount of myelin membrane synthesized and a number of axons myelinated without significantly changing the number of myelinating oligodendrocytes. These studies demonstrate that the Tg(mpz:mEGFP) reporter line responds effectively to positive and negative small molecule regulators of myelination, and could be useful for identifying candidate drugs that specifically target myelin membrane production in vivo. Combined with high throughput cell-based screening of large chemical libraries and automated imaging systems, this transgenic line is useful for rapid large scale whole animal screening to identify novel myelinating small molecule compounds in vivo.
Project description:The zebrafish mpz gene, encoding the ortholog of mammalian myelin protein zero, is expressed in oligodendrocytes of the zebrafish central nervous system (CNS). The putative gene product, P0, has been implicated in promoting axonal regeneration in addition to its proposed structural functions in compact myelin. We raised novel zebrafish P0-specific antibodies and established that P0 is a 23.5 kDa glycoprotein containing a 3 kDa N-linked carbohydrate moiety. P0 was localized to myelin sheaths surrounding axons, but was not detected in the cell bodies or proximal processes of oligodendrocytes. Many white matter tracts in the adult zebrafish CNS were robustly immunoreactive for P0, including afferent visual and olfactory pathways, commissural and longitudinal tracts of the brain, and selected ascending and descending tracts of the spinal cord. P0 was first detected during development in premyelinating oligodendrocytes of the ventral hindbrain at 48 hours postfertilization (hpf). By 72 hpf, short segments of longitudinally oriented P0-immunoreactive myelinating axons were seen in the hindbrain; expression in the spinal cord, optic pathways, hindbrain commissures, midbrain, and peripheral nervous system followed. The mpz transcript was found to be alternatively spliced, giving rise to P0 isoforms with alternative C-termini. The 23.5 kDa isoform was most abundant in the CNS, but other isoforms predominated in the myelin sheath surrounding the Mauthner axon. These data provide a detailed account of P0 expression and demonstrate novel P0 isoforms, which may have discrete functional properties. The restriction of P0 immunoreactivity to myelin sheaths indicates that the protein is subject to stringent intracellular compartmentalization, which likely occurs through posttranslational mechanisms.
Project description:Successful myelin repair in the adult CNS requires the robust and timely production of myelin proteins to generate new myelin sheaths. The underlying regulatory mechanisms and complex molecular basis of myelin regeneration, however, remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate the role of ERK MAP kinase signaling in this process. Conditional deletion of Erk2 from cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage resulted in delayed remyelination following demyelinating injury to the adult mouse corpus callosum. The delayed repair occurred as a result of a specific deficit in the translation of the major myelin protein, MBP. In the absence of ERK2, activation of the ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K) and its downstream target, ribosomal protein S6 (S6RP), was impaired at a critical time when premyelinating oligodendrocytes were transitioning to mature cells capable of generating new myelin sheaths. Thus, we have described an important link between the ERK MAP kinase signaling cascade and the translational machinery specifically in remyelinating oligodendrocytes in vivo. These results suggest an important role for ERK2 in the translational control of MBP, a myelin protein that appears critical for ensuring the timely generation of new myelin sheaths following demyelinating injury in the adult CNS.
Project description:Breakdown of myelin sheaths is a pathological hallmark of several autoimmune diseases of the nervous system. We employed autoantibody-mediated animal models of demyelinating diseases, including a rat model of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), to target myelin and found that myelin lamellae are broken down into vesicular structures at the innermost region of the myelin sheath. We demonstrated that myelin basic proteins (MBP), which form a polymer in between the myelin membrane layers, are targeted in these models. Elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) levels resulted in MBP network disassembly and myelin vesiculation. We propose that the aberrant phase transition of MBP molecules from their cohesive to soluble and non-adhesive state is a mechanism triggering myelin breakdown in NMO and possibly in other demyelinating diseases.
Project description:Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a hereditary neuropathy mainly caused by gene mutation of peripheral myelin proteins including myelin protein zero (P0, MPZ). Large myelin protein zero (L-MPZ) is an isoform of P0 that contains an extended polypeptide synthesized by translational readthrough at the C-terminus in tetrapods, including humans. The physiological role of L-MPZ and consequences of an altered L-MPZ/P0 ratio in peripheral myelin are not known. To clarify this, we used genome editing to generate a mouse line (L-MPZ mice) that produced L-MPZ instead of P0. Motor tests and electrophysiological, immunohistological, and electron microscopy analyses show that homozygous L-MPZ mice exhibit CMT-like phenotypes including thin and/or loose myelin, increased small-caliber axons, and disorganized axo-glial interactions. Heterozygous mice show a milder phenotype. These results highlight the importance of an appropriate L-MPZ/P0 ratio and show that aberrant readthrough of a myelin protein causes neuropathy.
Project description:Myelination is a cellular adaptation allowing rapid conduction along axons. We have investigated peripheral axons of the zebrafish maxillary barbel (ZMB), an optically clear sensory appendage. Each barbel carries taste buds, solitary chemosensory cells, and epithelial nerve endings, all of which regenerate after amputation (LeClair and Topczewski  PLoS One 5:e8737). The ZMB contains axons from the facial nerve; however, myelination within the barbel itself has not been established. Transcripts of myelin basic protein (mbp) are expressed in normal and regenerating adult barbels, indicating activity in both maintenance and repair. Myelin was confirmed in situ by using toluidine blue, an anti-MBP antibody, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The adult ZMB contains ?180 small-diameter axons (<2 ?m), approximately 60% of which are myelinated. Developmental myelination was observed via whole-mount immunohistochemistry 4-6 weeks postfertilization, showing myelin sheaths lagging behind growing axons. Early-regenerating axons (10 days postsurgery), having no or few myelin layers, were disorganized within a fibroblast-rich collagenous scar. Twenty-eight days postsurgery, barbel axons had grown out several millimeters and were organized with compact myelin sheaths. Fiber types and axon areas were similar between normal and regenerated tissue; within 4 weeks, regenerating axons restored ?85% of normal myelin thickness. Regenerating barbels express multiple promyelinating transcription factors (sox10, oct6 = pou3f1; krox20a/b = egr2a/b) typical of Schwann cells. These observations extend our understanding of the zebrafish peripheral nervous system within a little-studied sensory appendage. The accessible ZMB provides a novel context for studying axon regeneration, Schwann cell migration, and remyelination in a model vertebrate.
Project description:Myelination in the PNS is accompanied by a large induction of the myelin protein zero (Mpz) gene to produce the most abundant component in peripheral myelin. Analyses of knockout mice have shown that the EGR2/Krox20 and SOX10 transcription factors are required for Mpz expression. Our recent work has shown that the dominant EGR2 mutations associated with human peripheral neuropathies cause disruption of EGR2/SOX10 synergy at specific sites, including a conserved enhancer element in the first intron of the Mpz gene. Further investigation of Egr2/Sox10 interactions reveals that activation of the Mpz intron element by Egr2 requires both Sox10-binding sites. In addition, both Egr1 and Egr3 cooperate with Sox10 to activate this element, which indicates that this capacity is conserved among Egr family members. Finally, a conserved composite structure of Egr2/Sox10-binding sites in the genes encoding Mpz, myelin-associated glycoprotein and myelin basic protein genes was used to screen for similar modules in other myelin genes, revealing a potential regulatory element in the periaxin gene. Overall, these results elucidate a working model for developmental regulation of Mpz expression, several facets of which extend to regulation of other peripheral myelin genes.
Project description:Myelin is composed of plasma membrane spirally wrapped around axons and compacted into dense sheaths by myelin-associated proteins. Myelin is elaborated by neuroepithelial derived oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) and by neural crest derived Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). While some myelin proteins accumulate in only one lineage, myelin basic protein (Mbp) is expressed in both. Overlapping the Mbp gene is Golli, a transcriptional unit that is expressed widely both within and beyond the nervous system. A super-enhancer domain within the Golli/Mbp locus contains multiple enhancers shown previously to drive reporter construct expression specifically in oligodendrocytes or Schwann cells. In order to determine the contribution of each enhancer to the Golli/Mbp expression program, and to reveal if functional interactions occur among them, we derived mouse lines in which they were deleted, either singly or in different combinations, and relative mRNA accumulation was measured at key stages of early development and at maturity. Although super-enhancers have been shown previously to facilitate interaction among their component enhancers, the enhancers investigated here demonstrated largely additive relationships. However, enhancers demonstrating autonomous activity strictly in one lineage, when missing, were found to significantly reduce output in the other, thus revealing cryptic "stealth" activity. Further, in the absence of a key oligodendrocyte enhancer, Golli accumulation was markedly and uniformly attenuated in all cell types investigated. Our observations suggest a model in which enhancer-mediated DNA-looping and potential super-enhancer properties underlie Golli/Mbp regulatory organization.
Project description:Myelin protein zero (MPZ) is a major component of compact myelin in peripheral nerves where it plays an essential role in myelin formation and adhesion. MPZ gene mutations are usually responsible for demyelinating neuropathies, namely Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) type 1B, Déjèrine-Sottas neuropathy and congenital hypomyelinating neuropathy. Less frequently, axonal CMT (CMT2) associated with MPZ mutations has been described. We report six patients (one sporadic case and five subjects from two apparently unrelated families) with a late onset, but rapidly progressive, axonal peripheral neuropathy. In all patients, molecular analysis demonstrated a novel heterozygous missense mutation (208C>T) in MPZ exon 2, causing the Pro70Ser substitution in the extracellular domain. The diagnosis of CMT2 associated with MPZ mutations should be considered in both sporadic and familial cases of late onset, progressive polyneuropathy. The mechanism whereby compact myelin protein mutations cause axonal neuropathy remains to be elucidated.
Project description:Myelin, the electrically insulating axonal sheath, is composed of lipids and proteins with exceptionally long lifetime. Using 3D electron microscopy, mass spectrometry imaging, and quantitative proteome analysis, we addressed the question how myelin function is affected by myelin turnover. We studied the integrity of myelinated tracts after experimentally preventing the formation of new myelin in the CNS of adult mice by an inducible myelin basic protein (Mbp) null allele. Recombined oligodendrocytes continued to express myelin genes, but failed to establish MBP-dependent compaction of myelin sheaths. Abundance changes of myelin proteins upon Mbp ablation were analyzed in whole optic nerve lysates at different time points and compared with shiverer mice. This naturally occurring mutant is inable to developmentally form compact myelin due to the lack of MBP and served as proxy for the demyelination endpoint. Label-free protein quantification using an ion mobility-enhanced data-independent acquisition (DIA) workflow with alternating low and elevated energy (referred to as UDMS^E) revealed that numerous myelin proteins are reduced in abundance, while microglia and astrocyte markers were increased, indicative of neuropathology. Taken together, we observed an axonal pathology with about 50% myelin loss after 20 weeks and concluded that functional axon-myelin units require the continuous incorporation of new myelin membranes.