Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Another target identified to promote remyelination


In response to Graeme W's comment from the 14th June:

Wang et al. An oligodendrocyte-specific zinc-finger transcription regulator cooperates with Olig2 to promote oligodendrocyte differentiation. Development. 2006 Sep;133(17):3389-98.

These investigators identified a transcription factor called Zfp488 in oligodendrocytes (the cells that make myelin) that appears to be important in stimulating the oligodendrocytes to mature and make myelin. Transcription factors are proteins that enter the nucleus of cells and turn on specific genes that control the function of the cell. An analogy will be a specific icon on the desktop of your PC that controls a specific program; when you click on the icon a specific programme is launched. Hopefully this work will be confirmed by others and the pathway shown to be important in humans and MS. It may be also be a "druggable" target, i.e. pharma companies may be able to develop drugs to activate the pathway to promote myelination in MS.

"Interesting things continue to happen in the laboratory that may in the future lead to treatments for progressive MS. No recent news regarding this transcriptional factor could be interpreted as bad news. A trawl through the patent literature will be necessary to see if any new patents have been filed on this target. Any volunteers?"

5 comments:

  1. This paper was published 5 years ago - do you know whether any other studies have been carried out as a result of these findings?

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  2. Apologies for over-hyping this! It was in response to a comment.

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  3. Prof G, what happened to that detailed post about Anti-Lingo-1 you were going to publish on this blog? Are you still working on it?

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  4. Oh, I see that now :-)

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  5. Thanks Professor Giovannoni

    Anonymous - a follow up article appeared in Nature is April of this year and details animal experiments which encourage the expression of zfp488, seemingly resulting in the reversal of chemically induced demyelination..

    http://www.nature.com/srep/2011/110614/srep00002/full/srep00002.html

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