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The myelination-associated G protein-coupled receptor 37 is regulated by Zfp488, Nkx2.2, and Sox10 during oligodendrocyte differentiation.

Glia 2024 March 29
Oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination in the central nervous system are controlled and coordinated by a complex gene regulatory network that contains several transcription factors, including Zfp488 and Nkx2.2. Despite the proven role in oligodendrocyte differentiation little is known about the exact mode of Zfp488 and Nkx2.2 action, including their target genes. Here, we used overexpression of Zfp488 and Nkx2.2 in differentiating CG4 cells to identify aspects of the oligodendroglial expression profile that depend on these transcription factors. Although both transcription factors are primarily described as repressors, the detected changes argue for an additional function as activators. Among the genes activated by both Zfp488 and Nkx2.2 was the G protein-coupled receptor Gpr37 that is important during myelination. In agreement with a positive effect on Gpr37 expression, downregulation of the G protein-coupled receptor was observed in Zfp488- and in Nkx2.2-deficient oligodendrocytes in the mouse. We also identified several potential regulatory regions of the Gpr37 gene. Although Zfp488 and Nkx2.2 both bind to one of the regulatory regions downstream of the Gpr37 gene in vivo, none of the regulatory regions was activated by either transcription factor alone. Increased activation by Zfp488 or Nkx2.2 was only observed in the presence of Sox10, a transcription factor continuously present in oligodendroglial cells. Our results argue that both Zfp488 and Nkx2.2 also act as transcriptional activators during oligodendrocyte differentiation and cooperate with Sox10 to allow the expression of Gpr37 as a modulator of the myelination process.

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