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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2012 Dec;13(12):819-31. doi: 10.1038/nrn3386.

Separated at birth? The functional and molecular divergence of OLIG1 and OLIG2.

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1
Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.

Abstract

The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors oligodendrocyte transcription factor 1 (OLIG1) and OLIG2 are structurally similar and, to a first approximation, coordinately expressed in the developing CNS and postnatal brain. Despite these similarities, it was apparent from early on after their discovery that OLIG1 and OLIG2 have non-overlapping developmental functions in patterning, neuron subtype specification and the formation of oligodendrocytes. Here, we summarize more recent insights into the separate roles of these transcription factors in the postnatal brain during repair processes and in neurological disease states, including multiple sclerosis and malignant glioma. We discuss how the unique functions of OLIG1 and OLIG2 may reflect their distinct genetic targets, co-regulator proteins and/or post-translational modifications.

PMID:
23165259
PMCID:
PMC3733228
DOI:
10.1038/nrn3386
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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