Blocking Kallikrein 6 promotes developmental myelination

Hyesook Yoon, Erin M. Triplet, Whitney L. Simon, Chan Il Choi, Laurel S. Kleppe, Elena De Vita, Aubry K. Miller, Isobel A. Scarisbrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kallikrein related peptidase 6 (Klk6) is a secreted serine protease highly expressed in oligodendrocytes and implicated in demyelinating conditions. To gain insights into the significance of Klk6 to oligodendrocyte biology, we investigated the impact of global Klk6 gene knockout on CNS developmental myelination using the spinal cord of male and female mice as a model. Results demonstrate that constitutive loss of Klk6 expression accelerates oligodendrocyte differentiation developmentally, including increases in the expression of myelin proteins such as MBP, PLP and CNPase, in the number of CC-1+ mature oligodendrocytes, and myelin thickness by the end of the first postnatal week. Co-ordinate elevations in the pro-myelinating signaling pathways ERK and AKT, expression of fatty acid 2-hydroxylase, and myelin regulatory transcription factor were also observed in the spinal cord of 7d Klk6 knockouts. LC/MS/MS quantification of spinal cord lipids showed sphingosine and sphingomyelins to be elevated in Klk6 knockouts at the peak of myelination. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs)-derived from Klk6 knockouts, or wild type OPCs-treated with a Klk6 inhibitor (DFKZ-251), also showed increased MBP and PLP. Moreover, inhibition of Klk6 in OPC cultures enhanced brain derived neurotrophic factor-driven differentiation. Altogether, these findings suggest that oligodendrocyte-derived Klk6 may operate as an autocrine or paracrine rheostat, or brake, on pro-myelinating signaling serving to regulate myelin homeostasis developmentally and in the adult. These findings document for the first time that inhibition of Klk6 globally, or specifically in oligodendrocyte progenitors, is a strategy to increase early stages of oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin production in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-450
Number of pages21
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Blocking Kallikrein 6 promotes developmental myelination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this