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Characterization Of Myelin Proteolipid MRNAs In Normal And Jimpy Mice.

M V Gardinier, W B Macklin, A J Diniak, P L Deininger

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A clone specific for the rat myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) was isolated from a cDNA library made in pUC18 from 17-day-old rat brain stem mRNA. This clone corresponded to the carboxyl-terminal third of the PLP-coding region. The clone was used to identify PLP-specific mRNAs in mouse brain and to establish the time course of PLP mRNA expression during mouse brain development. Three PLP-specific mRNAs were seen, approximately 1,500, 2,400, and 3,200 bases in length, of which the largest was the most abundant. During brain development, the maximal period of PLP mRNA expression was from 14 to 25 days of age, and this was a similar time course to that for myelin basic protein mRNA expression. When the jimpy mouse, an X-linked dysmyelination mutant, was studied for PLP mRNA expression, low levels of PLP mRNA were seen which were approximately 5% of wild-type levels at 20 days of age. When jimpy brain RNA was analyzed by Northern blotting, the PLP-specific mRNA was shown to be 100 to 200 bases shorter than the wild-type PLP-specific mRNA. This size difference was seen in the two major PLP mRNAs, and it did not result from a loss of polyadenylation of these mRNAs.