Transcriptional Fingerprint of Hypomyelination in Zfp191null and Shiverer (Mbpshi) Mice

Joshua D. Aaker, Benayahu Elbaz, Yuwen Wu, Timothy J. Looney, Li Zhang, Bruce T. Lahn, Brian Popko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The transcriptional program that controls oligodendrocyte maturation and central nervous system (CNS) myelination has not been fully characterized. In this study, we use high-throughput RNA sequencing to analyze how the loss of a key transcription factor, zinc finger protein 191 (ZFP191), results in oligodendrocyte development abnormalities and CNS hypomyelination. Using a previously described mutant mouse that is deficient in ZFP191 protein expression (Zfp191null), we demonstrate that key transcripts are reduced in the whole brain as well as within oligodendrocyte lineage cells cultured in vitro. To determine whether the loss of myelin seen in Zfp191null mice contributes indirectly to these perturbations, we also examined the transcriptome of a well-characterized mouse model of hypomyelination, in which the myelin structural protein myelin basic protein (MBP) is deficient. Interestingly, Mbpshi (shiverer) mice had far fewer transcripts perturbed with the loss of myelin alone. This study demonstrates that the loss of ZFP191 disrupts expression of genes involved in oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination, largely independent from the loss of myelin. Nevertheless, hypomyelination in both mouse mutants results in the perturbation of lipid synthesis pathways, suggesting that oligodendrocytes have a feedback system that allows them to regulate myelin lipid synthesis depending on their myelinating state. The data presented are of potential clinical relevance as the human orthologs of the Zfp191 and MBP genes reside on a region of Chromosome 18 that is deleted in childhood leukodystrophies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASN Neuro
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • ZFP191
  • cholesterol biosynthesis
  • hypomyelination
  • oligodendrocyte development
  • shiverer
  • transcriptional networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology

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