Targeted inactivation of the Septin2 and Septin9 genes in myelinating Schwann cells of mice

Ann Kristin Martens, Michelle Erwig, Julia Patzig, Robert Fledrich, Ernst Martin Füchtbauer, Hauke B. Werner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The formation of axon-enwrapping myelin sheaths by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system involves the assembly of a scaffolding septin filament comprised of the subunits SEPTIN2, SEPTIN4, SEPTIN7 and SEPTIN8. Conversely, in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), myelin is synthesized by a different cell type termed Schwann cells, and it remained unknown if septins also assemble as a multimer in PNS myelin. According to prior proteome analysis, PNS myelin comprises the subunits SEPTIN2, SEPTIN7, SEPTIN8, SEPTIN9, and SEPTIN11, which localize to the paranodal and abaxonal myelin subcompartments. Here, we use the Cre/loxP-system to delete the Septin9-gene specifically in Schwann cells, causing a markedly reduced abundance of SEPTIN9 in sciatic nerves, implying that Schwann cells are the main cell type expressing SEPTIN9 in the nerve. However, Septin9-deficiency in Schwann cells did not affect the abundance or localization of other septin subunits. In contrast, when deleting the Septin2-gene in Schwann cells the abundance of all relevant septin subunits was markedly reduced, including SEPTIN9. Notably, we did not find evidence that deleting Septin2 or Septin9 in Schwann cells impairs myelin biogenesis, nerve conduction velocity or motor/sensory capabilities, at least at the assessed timepoints. Our data thus show that SEPTIN2 but not SEPTIN9 is required for the formation or stabilization of a septin multimer in PNS myelin in vivo; however, its functional relevance remains to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-302
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Charcot–Marie–Tooth (CMT) disease
  • hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy (HNA)
  • myelin outfoldings
  • myelin sheath
  • Schwann cell
  • Septin 2
  • Septin 9
  • tomaculae


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