Post #2: Self Reparation and Remyelination

Currently, our research of treatment of autoimmune diseases focuses on multiple sclerosis. One of the most detrimental effects of MS involves the demyelination of the myelin sheath of neurons (Podbielska, 2013). The destruction of the myelin sheath affects transmitting speed and the action potential of neurons which can severely impact mental capabilities (2013). The destruction of the myelin sheath usually results from certain proteins, paranodal and juxtaparanodal proteins, congregating on the myelin sheath and creating lesions (2013). Without the protection of the myelin sheath, the axon is vulnerable to damage from consequent electrical firing of the neurons (2013). Normally, neurons are able to repair their myelin sheath by the process of remyelination. But often the neuron’s of people who suffer from MS fail to induce this process (2013). Understanding what components of remyelination lead to the repair of the myelin sheath may offer insight into treatment for MS.

In last weeks post I researched how Deinococcus radiodurans could repair their shattered genome after undergoing extreme amounts of radiation. This week I researched more on the genome of the Deinoccocus radiodurans. Its genome comprises of chromosome I, chromosome II, a megaplasmid, and a plasmid. Chromosome II contains information regarding “amino acid utilization, cell envelope formation, and transporters” (Dassarma, 2006). Understanding how the expression of these genes leads to the full self-reparation of the Deinoccocus radiodurans bacterium and its genome could aid in understanding the generation of remyelination in neurons. Rates of remyelination decrease throughout the progression of MS (Podbielska, 2013). It involves creating new myelin sheaths over damaged demyelinated sheaths (2013). By studying the sequences of the Deinoccous radiodurans’ genome, there may be a way to genetically imitate the genes that code for self reparation in the genome of neurons.  

Podbielska, M., Banik, N. L., Kurowska, E., & Hogan, E. L. (2013). Myelin Recovery in Multiple Sclerosis: The Challenge of Remyelination. Brain Sciences, 3(3), 1282–1324.

White, O., Eisen, J. A., Heidelberg, J. F., Hickey, E. K., Peterson, J. D., Dodson, R. J., … Fraser, C. M. (1999). Genome Sequence of the Radioresistant Bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans R1. Science (New York, N.Y.), 286(5444), 1571–1577.

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