Dec 17, 2008

Ultraconserved elements in the Olig2 promoter

PloS One
Christina T L ChenBarak A Cohen

Abstract

Oligodendrocytes are specialized cells of the nervous system that produce the myelin sheaths surrounding the axons of neurons. Myelinating the axons increases the speed of nerve conduction and demyelination contributes to the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Oligodendrocyte differentiation is specified early in development by the expression of the basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factor Olig2 in the ventral region of the neural tube. Understanding how Olig2 expression is controlled is therefore essential for elucidating the mechanisms governing oligodendrocyte differentiation. A method is needed to identify potential regulatory sequences in the long stretches of adjacent non-coding DNA that flank Olig2. We identified ten potential regulatory regions upstream of Olig2 based on a combination of bioinformatics metrics that included evolutionary conservation across multiple vertebrate genomes, the presence of potential transcription factor binding sites and the existence of ultraconserved elements. One of our computational predictions includes a region previously identified as the Olig2 basal promoter, suggesting that our criterion represented characteristics of known regulatory regions. In th...Continue Reading

  • References49
  • Citations7

Mentioned in this Paper

Vertebrates
Embryo
Flow Cytometry
Conserved Sequence
Neural Tube
RCHY1 gene
DNA, Junk
Molecular Helix
Takifugu
Exons

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