MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial regulators of myelination in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). However, the miRNAs species involved and the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. We found that let-7 miRNAs are highly abundant during PNS myelination and that their levels are inversely correlated to the expression of lin28 homolog B (Lin28B), an antagonist of let-7 accumulation. Sustained expression of Lin28B and consequently reduced levels of let-7 miRNAs results in a failure of Schwann cell myelination in transgenic mouse models and in cell culture. Subsequent analyses revealed that let-7 miRNAs promote expression of the myelination-driving master transcription factor Krox20 (also known as Egr2) through suppression of myelination inhibitory Notch signalling. We conclude that the Lin28B/let-7 axis acts as a critical driver of PNS myelination, in particular by regulating myelination onset, identifying this pathway also as a potential therapeutic target in demyelinating diseases.
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