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Glia. 2004 Mar;45(4):378-91.

The 36K protein of zebrafish CNS myelin is a short-chain dehydrogenase.

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Department of Neurosciences, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.


Previous studies identified homologues to mammalian myelin genes expressed in the teleost central nervous system (CNS), including myelin basic protein (MBP), protein zero (P0), and a member of the proteolipid protein family, DM20. In addition, an uncharacterized 36-kDa (36K) protein is a major component of teleost myelin, but is not a major component of myelin in other species. In the present study, we sought to better understand myelin proteins and myelination in one teleost, zebrafish, by molecular characterization of the zebrafish 36K protein. Purified zebrafish CNS myelin was isolated and the amino acid sequences of peptides present in the 36-kDa band were determined by mass spectrometry. These sequences matched a previously uncharacterized EST in The Institute for Genome Research (TIGR) zebrafish database that is related to the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) protein family. In vitro expression of the zebrafish 36K cDNA in Neuro 2a cells resulted in a protein product that was recognized by a 36K polyclonal antibody. The zebrafish 36K mRNA and protein expression patterns were determined and correlated to other known myelin gene expression profiles. In addition, we determined by in situ hybridization that a human 36K homologue (FLJ13639) is expressed in oligodendrocytes and neurons in the adult human cortex. This study identified a major myelin protein in zebrafish, 36K, as a member of the SDR superfamily; an expression pattern similar to other myelin genes was demonstrated.

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