Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is an axon-derived factor that is critical for Schwann cell (SC) development and myelinogenesis in a manner dependent on transmembrane tyrosine kinases ErbB2 and ErbB3. Recent studies suggest that NRG1 signaling plays a role in remyelination of regenerated nerves after injury. In this study, we investigated the role of Erbin, a protein that interacts with ErbB2 in remyelination of injured nerves. We show that Erbin expression increased dramatically in injured nerves. Myelinated axons were fewer, and g-ratios of those that were myelinated were increased in erbin-/-mice, which were impaired in functional recovery from nerve injury. These results indicate a necessary role of Erbin in remyelination of regenerating axons. Erbin ablation had little effect on numbers of BrdU-labeled and TUNEL-labeled SCs, suggesting mechanisms independent of altered proliferation or apoptosis. Wedemonstrated that Erbin mutant mice were impaired in raising or maintaining the levels of ErbB2 and in producing NRG1 in axons. Together, these observations demonstrate that Erbin is required for remyelination of regenerated axons after injury, probably by regulating ErbB2 and NRG1 levels, identifying a novel player in regulating remyelination.
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