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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Nov 15;90(22):10695-9.

The human myelin basic protein gene is included within a 179-kilobase transcription unit: expression in the immune and central nervous systems.

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Mental Retardation Research Center, University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine 90024-1759.


Two human Golli (for gene expressed in the oligodendrocyte lineage)-MBP (for myelin basic protein) cDNAs have been isolated from a human oligodendroglioma cell line. Analysis of these cDNAs has enabled us to determine the entire structure of the human Golli-MBP gene. The Golli-MBP gene, which encompasses the MBP transcription unit, is approximately 179 kb in length and consists of 10 exons, seven of which constitute the MBP gene. The human Golli-MBP gene contains two transcription start sites, each of which gives rise to a family of alternatively spliced transcripts. At least two Golli-MBP transcripts, containing the first three exons of the gene and one or more MBP exons, are produced from the first transcription start site. The second family of transcripts contains only MBP exons and produces the well-known MBPs. In humans, RNA blot analysis revealed that Golli-MBP transcripts were expressed in fetal thymus, spleen, and human B-cell and macrophage cell lines, as well as in fetal spinal cord. These findings clearly link the expression of exons encoding the autoimmunogen/encephalitogen MBP in the central nervous system to cells and tissues of the immune system through normal expression of the Golli-MBP gene. They also establish that this genetic locus, which includes the MBP gene, is conserved among species, providing further evidence that the MBP transcription unit is an integral part of the Golli transcription unit and suggest that this structural arrangement is important for the genetic function and/or regulation of these genes.

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