Sox17 Gene Key to Pathway to Myelination

Through the identification of a gene’s impact on a signaling pathway, scientists at Children’s National Medical Center continue to make progress in understanding the mechanics of a key brain developmental process: growth and repair of white matter, known as myelination. The study, published online in the September 2011online edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, identified Sox17 as the gene that helps regulate the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway during the transition of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, or immature brain cells, to a more mature, differentiated state where they generate myelin.