Successful myelin repair in the adult CNS requires the robust and timely production of myelin proteins to generate new myelin sheaths. The underlying regulatory mechanisms and complex molecular basis of myelin regeneration, however, remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate the role ofERKMAPkinase signaling in this process. Conditional deletion of Erk2 from cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage resulted in delayed remyelination following demyelinating injury to the adult mouse corpus callosum. The delayed repair occurred as a result of a specific deficit in the translation of the major myelin protein, MBP. In the absence of ERK2, activation of the ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K) and its downstream target, ribosomal protein S6 (S6RP), was impaired at a critical time when premyelinating oligodendrocytes were transitioning to mature cells capable of generating new myelin sheaths. Thus, we have described an important link between the ERK MAP kinase signaling cascade and the translational machinery specifically in remyelinating oligodendrocytes in vivo. These results suggest an important role for ERK2 in the translational control of MBP, a myelin protein that appears critical for ensuring the timely generation of new myelin sheaths following demyelinating injury in the adult CNS.
- ERK2 MAP kinase
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