Another target identified to promote remyelination

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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?”

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Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

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