Differential and cell development-dependent localization of myelin mRNAs in oligodendrocytes

H deVries*, JC deJonge, C Schrage, ME vanderHaar, D Hoekstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


In oligodendrocytes (OLG), the mRNAs for the various myelin proteins localize to different intracellular sites, Whereas the confinement of myelin basic protein (MBP) mRNA to the processes of the cell has been well established, we demonstrate that most other myelin mRNA species are mainly present in the perinuclear region, Using in situ hybridization of cultured rat OLG we found that mRNAs are localized to at least three different locations: 1) to the perinuclear region [myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) mRNA]; 2) mainly to the processes (the mRNA for the 14-kDa isoform of MBP); and 3) to both the perinuclear region and the primary processes [2',3'-cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase (CNPase) and proteolipid protein (PLP) mRNAs], Thus, depending on their primary structure, the mRNA species in OLG either remain near the nucleus or localize to primary or secondary processes before their translation, The myelin mRNA localization correlates well with that of the proteins encoded in them, as demonstrated by immunocytochemistry, Since different isoforms of MBP have different locations in transfected HeLa cells (Staugaitis et al.: J Cell Biol 110:1719-1727, 1990), we also have investigated the localization of the various mRNAs in OLG, using exon 2-minus and exon 2-specific probes for in situ hybridization, The exon 2-minus MBP mRNAs are transported far into the processes whereas exon 2-specific mRNA was only detected in the cell body, This suggests that sorting and trafficking of MBP mRNA are regulated by the presence or absence of the exon 2 sequence, Furthermore, during maturation of OLG, exon 2-plus mRNAs disappear, whereas exon 2-minus mRNAs increase, The developmentally regulated expression of exon 2-plus transcripts suggests a role of their protein products in differentiation rather than in myelination. (C) 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-488
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1-Mar-1997


  • mRNA transport
  • mRNA sorting
  • myelin basic protein
  • in situ hybridization
  • myelination
  • RAT

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