The terminal differentiation of myelinating glia involves complex interactions that culminate in the formation of myelin. The POU domain transcription factor Tst-1/Oct-6/SCIP is expressed transiently during myelination, and we report here that it has a critical role in this developmental process. Deletion of the Tst-1/Oct-6/SCIP gene produces a severe defect in peripheral myelination by arresting Schwann cell maturation before axonal wrapping. Unexpectedly, the activation of major myelin-specific genes appears to be unaffected by the Tst-1/Oct-6/SCIP mutation, demonstrating that multiple, independently regulated events are required for terminal differentiation of Schwann cells. In addition, aberrant differentiation and migration of specific neurons in Tst-1/Oct-6/SCIP mutant homozygotes is associated with a fatal breathing defect, providing a model for investigating the regulation of pulmonary homeostasis.
- POU domain transcription factor
- Schwann cell
- Tst- 1
- neuronal migration
- nucleus of the lateral olfactory tract
- peripheral myelination
- phrenic nucleus