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Ulk4deficiency leads to hypomyelination in mice

Overview of attention for article published in Glia, October 2017
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Ulk4deficiency leads to hypomyelination in mice
Published in
Glia, October 2017
DOI 10.1002/glia.23236
Pubmed ID

Min Liu, Ping Xu, Zhenlong Guan, Xiaohong Qian, Peter Dockery, Una Fitzgerald, Timothy O'Brien, Sanbing Shen


Brain nerve fibers are insulated by myelin which is produced by oligodendrocytes. Defects in myelination are increasingly recognized as a common pathology underlying neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders, which are associated with deletions of the Unc-51-like kinase 4 (ULK4) gene. Key transcription factors have been identified for oligodendrogenesis, but little is known about their associated regulators. Here we report that Ulk4 acts as a key regulator of myelination. Myelination is reduced by half in the Ulk4(tm1a/tm1a) hypomorph brain, whereas expression of axonal marker genes Tubb3, Nefh, Nefl and Nefm remains unaltered. Transcriptome analyses reveal that 8 (Gfap, Mbp, Mobp, Plp1, Slc1a2, Ttr, Cnp, Scd2) of the 10 most significantly altered genes in the Ulk4(tm1a/tm1a) brain are myelination-related. Ulk4 is co-expressed in Olig2(+) (pan-oligodendrocyte marker) and CC1(+) (mature myelinated oligodendrocyte marker) cells during postnatal development. Major oligodendrogeneic transcription factors, including Olig2, Olig1, Myrf, Sox10, Sox8, Sox6, Sox17, Nkx2-2, Nkx6-2 and Carhsp1, are significantly downregulated in the mutants. mRNA transcripts enriched in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), the newly formed oligodendrocytes (NFOs) and myelinating oligodendrocytes (MOs), are significantly attenuated. Expression of stage-specific oligodendrocyte factors including Cspg4, Sox17, Nfasc, Enpp6, Sirt2, Cnp, Plp1, Mbp, Ugt8, Mag and Mog are markedly decreased. Indirect effects of axon caliber and neuroinflammation may also contribute to the hypomyelination, as Ulk4 mutants display smaller axons and increased neuroinflammation. This is the first evidence demonstrating that ULK4 is a crucial regulator of myelination, and ULK4 may therefore become a novel therapeutic target for hypomyelination diseases.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 14 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 14 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 36%
Student > Master 4 29%
Student > Bachelor 2 14%
Unspecified 2 14%
Student > Doctoral Student 1 7%
Other 0 0%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Neuroscience 4 29%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 4 29%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 3 21%
Unspecified 2 14%
Psychology 1 7%
Other 0 0%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 03 July 2018.
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