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Biofactors. 2013 May-Jun;39(3):233-41. doi: 10.1002/biof.1076. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Myelin-specific proteins: a structurally diverse group of membrane-interacting molecules.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.


The myelin sheath is a multilayered membrane in the nervous system, which has unique biochemical properties. Myelin carries a set of specific high-abundance proteins, the structure and function of which are still poorly understood. The proteins of the myelin sheath are involved in a number of neurological diseases, including autoimmune diseases and inherited neuropathies. In this review, we briefly discuss the structural properties and functions of selected myelin-specific proteins (P0, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, myelin-associated glycoprotein, myelin basic protein, myelin-associated oligodendrocytic basic protein, P2, proteolipid protein, peripheral myelin protein of 22 kDa, 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase, and periaxin); such properties include, for example, interactions with lipid bilayers and the presence of large intrinsically disordered regions in some myelin proteins. A detailed understanding of myelin protein structure and function at the molecular level will be required to fully grasp their physiological roles in the myelin sheath.

Copyright © 2013 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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