Myelin transcription factor 1 (Myt1) of the oligodendrocyte lineage, along with a closely related CCHC zinc finger, is expressed in developing neurons in the mammalian central nervous system
The establishment and operation of the nervous system requires genetic regulation by a network of DNA‐binding proteins, among which is the zinc finger superfamily of transcription factors. We have cloned and characterized a member of the unusual Cys‐Cys‐His‐Cys (also referred to as Cys2HisCys, CCHC, or C2HC) class of zinc finger proteins in the developing nervous system. The novel gene, Myt1‐like (Myt1l), is highly homologous to the original representative of this class, Myelin transcription factor 1 (Myt1) (Kim and Hudson, 1992). The MYT1 gene maps to human chromosome 20, while MYT1L maps to a region of human chromosome 2. Both zinc finger proteins are found in neurons at early stages of differentiation, with germinal zone cells displaying intense staining for MyT1. Unlike Myt1, Myt1l has not been detected in the glial lineage. Neurons that express Myt1l also express TuJ1, which marks neurons around the period of terminal mitosis. The Myt1l protein resides in distinct domains within the neuronal nucleus, analogous to the discrete pattern previously noted for Myt1 (Armstrong et al.: 14:303–321, 1995). The developmental expression and localization of these two multifingered CCHC proteins suggests that each may play a role in the development of neurons and oligodendroglia in the mammalian central nervous system. J. Neurosci. Res. 50:272–290, 1997. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.