ENPP6 Gene & Myelin

The neurons in your brain require myelin to work correctly, and the more myelin you have, the cleverer you are!

Myelin is created by oligodendrocytes, a type of brain cell, and this is where the ENPP6 gene comes into play. The ENPP6 enzyme promotes the formation of new oligodendrocytes in the brain. As a result, your ENPP6 genotype will influence myelin production (also known as myelination) in your brain [1].

More myelination means better cognitive ability.  

The ENPP6 gene SNP rs4241784 has been shown to have a significant impact on numerous areas of cognitive performance. This SNP has two potential alleles: ‘T’ and ‘G’ [2, 3].

In general, having the ‘T’ allele is preferable since it has been associated with improved cognitive performance due to increased myelination throughout the brain [2, 3].

Carriers of the ‘G’ allele, on the other hand, are at a disadvantage in terms of cognitive ability. This is most likely because their ENPP6 gene is less active, resulting in lower levels of myelination [2, 3].

One of the suggestions for dealing with the unfavourable genotype was to get more sleep! Many of the “raw materials” that your brain requires to make new oligodendrocytes are created predominantly during sleep [4].

Check out your ENPP6 gene results at MyGenome immediately to receive individualised suggestions on how to enhance or optimise its performance.

Published by: Dr. J

  1. Xiao L, Ohayon D, McKenzie IA, Sinclair-Wilson A, Wright JL, Fudge AD, Emery B, Li H, Richardson WD. Rapid production of new oligodendrocytes is required in the earliest stages of motor-skill learning. Nat Neurosci. 2016 Sep;19(9):1210-1217. doi: 10.1038/nn.4351. Epub 2016 Jul 25. PMID: 27455109; PMCID: PMC5008443.
  2. Davies G, Tenesa A, Payton A, Yang J, Harris SE, Liewald D, Ke X, Le Hellard S, Christoforou A, Luciano M, McGhee K, Lopez L, Gow AJ, Corley J, Redmond P, Fox HC, Haggarty P, Whalley LJ, McNeill G, Goddard ME, Espeseth T, Lundervold AJ, Reinvang I, Pickles A, Steen VM, Ollier W, Porteous DJ, Horan M, Starr JM, Pendleton N, Visscher PM, Deary IJ. Genome-wide association studies establish that human intelligence is highly heritable and polygenic. Mol Psychiatry. 2011 Oct;16(10):996-1005. doi: 10.1038/mp.2011.85. Epub 2011 Aug 9. PMID: 21826061; PMCID: PMC3182557.
  3. Chiang MC, Barysheva M, Shattuck DW, Lee AD, Madsen SK, Avedissian C, Klunder AD, Toga AW, McMahon KL, de Zubicaray GI, Wright MJ, Srivastava A, Balov N, Thompson PM. Genetics of brain fiber architecture and intellectual performance. J Neurosci. 2009 Feb 18;29(7):2212-24. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4184-08.2009. PMID: 19228974; PMCID: PMC2773128.
  4. Bellesi M, Pfister-Genskow M, Maret S, Keles S, Tononi G, Cirelli C. Effects of sleep and wake on oligodendrocytes and their precursors. J Neurosci. 2013 Sep 4;33(36):14288-300. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5102-12.2013. PMID: 24005282; PMCID: PMC3874087.

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