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J Membr Biol. 1991 Mar;120(3):233-46.

Major Myelin proteolipid: the 4-alpha-helix topology.

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  • 1Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique and Coll├Ęge de France, C.N.R.S. URA1187, Paris.


Several conflicting models have been proposed for the membrane arrangement of the major myelin proteolipid (PLP). We have compared features of the sequence of PLP with those of other eukaryotic integral membrane proteins, with the view of identifying the most likely transmembrane topology. A new, simple model is suggested, which features four hydrophobic alpha-helices spanning the whole thickness of the lipid bilayer. Its orientation may be such that both the N- and C-termini face the cytosol. None of the biochemical, biophysical or immunological experiments hitherto reported provides incontrovertible evidence against the model. The effect or absence thereof of various PLP mutations is discussed in the frame of the proposed 4-helix topology.

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