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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Jan 15;1463(1):81-7.

Adhesion of acidic lipid vesicles by 21.5 kDa (recombinant) and 18.5 kDa isoforms of myelin basic protein.

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  • 1Division of Structural Biology and Biochemistry, Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ont., Canada.


Myelin basic protein (MBP) is thought to be responsible for adhesion of the intracellular surfaces of compact myelin to give the major dense line. The 17 and 21.5 kDa isoforms containing exon II have been reported by others to localize to the cytoplasm and nucleus of murine oligodendrocytes and HeLa cells while the 14 and 18.5 kDa isoforms lacking exon II are confined to the plasma membrane. However, we show that the exon II(-) 18.5 kDa form and a recombinant exon II(+) 21.5 kDa isoform both caused similar aggregation of acidic lipid vesicles, indicating that they should have similar abilities to bind to the intracellular lipid surface of the plasma membrane and to cause adhesion of those surfaces to each other. The circular dichroism spectra of the two isoforms indicated that both had a similar secondary structure. Thus, both isoforms should be able to bind to and cause adhesion of the cytosolic surfaces of compact myelin. The fact that they do not could be due to differences in post-translational modification in vivo, trafficking through the cell and/or subcellular location of synthesis, but it is not due to differences in their lipid binding.

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