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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Aug;1779(8):486-94. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2008.06.003. Epub 2008 Jun 11.

Post-transcriptional regulation of myelin formation.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 364 Plantation Street, LRB-906, Worcester, MA, 01605, USA.


Myelin is a specialized structure of the nervous system that both enhances electrical conductance and protects neurons from degeneration. In the central nervous system, extensively polarized oligodendrocytes form myelin by wrapping cellular processes in a spiral pattern around neuronal axons. Myelin formation requires the oligodendrocyte to regulate gene expression in response to changes in its extracellular environment. Because these changes occur at a distance from the cell body, post-transcriptional control of gene expression allows the cell to fine-tune its response. Here, we review the RNA-binding proteins that control myelin formation in the brain, highlighting the molecular mechanisms by which they control gene expression and drawing parallels from studies in other cell types.

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