Myelin/oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) is expressed specifically in the central nervous system (CNS) by myelinating glial cells, the oligodendrocytes. The external location of MOG on myelin sheaths and its late expression during myelinogenesis argue for a role of MOG in the completion of myelin and maintenance of its integrity. MOG is a target autoantigen in demyelinating diseases, such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in animals and multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans. We previously located the gene encoding MOG to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), both in human, by cytogenetics, and in mouse, by analysis of recombinants. To refine the position, we have now selected yeast artificial chromosome clones (YAC) which contain the MOG gene. Physical mapping of the human MOG and the mouse Mog genes by characterization of these YAC clones indicated that the gene is located at the distal end of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ib region in both species. The human MOG gene lies 60 kilobases (kb) telomeric to HLA-F in a head-to-head orientation; the mouse Mog gene lies 25 (kb) telomeric to H2-M5 in a tail-to-head orientation. These orthologous genes provide markers for comparative analysis of the evolution of the MHC in the two species. The physical mapping of MOG should facilitate analysis of its role in hereditary neurological diseases, and the YAC clones identified here will permit the identification of new genes in the region.
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