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J Neurosci. 1996 Dec 15;16(24):7941-9.

Neural cell type-specific expression of QKI proteins is altered in quakingviable mutant mice.

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Brookdale Center for Molecular Biology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029, USA.


qkI, a newly cloned gene lying immediately proximal to the deletion in the quakingviable mutation, is transcribed into three messages of 5, 6, and 7 kb. Antibodies raised to the unique carboxy peptides of the resulting QKI proteins reveal that, in the nervous system, all three QKI proteins are expressed strongly in myelin-forming cells and also in astrocytes. Interestingly, individual isoforms show distinct intracellular distributions: QKI-6 and QKI-7 are localized to perikaryal cytoplasm, whereas QKI-5 invariably is restricted to the nucleus, consistent with the predicted role of QKI as an RNA-binding protein. In quakingviable mutants, which display severe dysmyelination, QKI-6 and QKI-7 are absent exclusively from myelin-forming cells. By contrast, QKI-5 is absent only in oligodendrocytes of severely affected tracts. These observations implicate QKI proteins as regulators of myelination and reveal key insights into the mechanisms of dysmyelination in the quakingviable mutant.

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