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Neuron. 2005 Jul 21;47(2):215-29.

Gliomedin mediates Schwann cell-axon interaction and the molecular assembly of the nodes of Ranvier.

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Department of Molecular Cell Biology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Accumulation of Na(+) channels at the nodes of Ranvier is a prerequisite for saltatory conduction. In peripheral nerves, clustering of these channels along the axolemma is regulated by myelinating Schwann cells through a yet unknown mechanism. We report the identification of gliomedin, a glial ligand for neurofascin and NrCAM, two axonal immunoglobulin cell adhesion molecules that are associated with Na+ channels at the nodes of Ranvier. Gliomedin is expressed by myelinating Schwann cells and accumulates at the edges of each myelin segment during development, where it aligns with the forming nodes. Eliminating the expression of gliomedin by RNAi, or the addition of a soluble extracellular domain of neurofascin to myelinating cultures, which caused the redistribution of gliomedin along the internodes, abolished node formation. Furthermore, a soluble gliomedin induced nodal-like clusters of Na+ channels in the absence of Schwann cells. We propose that gliomedin provides a glial cue for the formation of peripheral nodes of Ranvier.

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