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YY1 negatively regulates mouse myelin proteolipid protein (Plp1) gene expression in oligodendroglial cells

Author(s): Olga E Zolova | Patricia A Wight

Journal: ASN Neuro
ISSN 1759-0914

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: e00067;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: gene expression | gene regulation | myelin proteolipid protein gene | Oli-neu cells | repression | YY1

YY1 (Yin and Yang 1) is a multifunctional, ubiquitously expressed, zinc finger protein that can act as a transcriptional activator, repressor, or initiator element binding protein. Previous studies have shown that YY1 modulates the activity of reporter genes driven by the myelin PLP (proteolipid protein) (PLP1/Plp1) promoter. However, it is known that Plp1 intron 1 DNA contains regulatory elements that are required for the dramatic increase in gene activity, coincident with the active myelination period of CNS (central nervous system) development. The intron in mouse contains multiple prospective YY1 target sites including one within a positive regulatory module called the ASE (anti-silencer/enhancer) element. Results presented here demonstrate that YY1 has a negative effect on the activity of a Plp1-lacZ fusion gene [PLP(+)Z] in an immature oligodendroglial cell line (Oli-neu) that is mediated through sequences present in Plp1 intron 1 DNA. Yet YY1 does not bind to its alleged site in the ASE (even though the protein is capable of recognizing a target site in the promoter), indicating that the down-regulation of PLP(+)Z activity by YY1 in Oli-neu cells does not occur through a direct interaction of YY1 with the ASE sequence. Previous studies with Yy1 conditional knockout mice have demonstrated that YY1 is essential for the differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitors. Nevertheless, the current study suggests that YY1 functions as a repressor (not an activator) of Plp1 gene expression in immature oligodendrocytes. Perhaps YY1 functions to keep the levels of PLP in check in immature cells before vast quantities of the protein are needed in mature myelinating oligodendrocytes.
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