SUTCLIFFE J. Greggor Research Institute of Scripps Clinic, 教授
OKANO Hideyuki Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, 蛋白質研究所, 助手 (60160694)
IKENAKA Kazuhiro Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, 蛋白質研究所, 助手 (00144527)
Many kinds of cells are present in the vervous system and exhibit various characteristic functions. Most of these cells differentiate from a common ancestor, neuroepithelial cells, migrate to their defined positions, and form well-organized architecture of the nervous system. As a first step toward understanding molecular mechanisms involved in these processes, we have been identifying the elements which regulate the gene expression of the proteins specifically produced in the neural cells. The genes for myelin basic protein (MBP), an oligodendrocyte marker protein, and glial fibrally acidic protein, an astrocyte marker protein, were apparently activated by NF-1 like element(s), while the gene for neurofilament, a neuron-specific protein, seemed to be de-repressed in neuron. Myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) is produced spacially and timely similar to MBP, however, the regulatory mechanism involved in its gene expression seemed to be quite distinct from that of the MBP gene. Thus, the neural cells activate the genes in various ways, presumably because each gene expression has to finely respond to the environmental change in order to exhibit the complex functions of the nervous system.