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J Neurosci. 2010 Oct 20;30(42):13943-54. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2574-10.2010.

The expression of TAG-1 in glial cells is sufficient for the formation of the juxtaparanodal complex and the phenotypic rescue of tag-1 homozygous mutants in the CNS.

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Department of Basic Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Crete and Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology-Foundation for Research and Technology, 71110, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.


Myelinated fibers are organized into specialized domains that ensure the rapid propagation of action potentials and are characterized by protein complexes underlying axoglial interactions. TAG-1 (Transient Axonal Glycoprotein-1), a cell adhesion molecule of the Ig superfamily, is expressed by neurons as well as by myelinating glia. It is essential for the molecular organization of myelinated fibers as it maintains the integrity of the juxtaparanodal region through its interactions with Caspr2 and the voltage-gated potassium channels (VGKCs) on the axolemma. Since TAG-1 is the only known component of the juxtaparanodal complex expressed by the glial cell, it is important to clarify its role in the molecular organization of juxtaparanodes. For this purpose, we generated transgenic mice that exclusively express TAG-1 in oligodendrocytes and lack endogenous gene expression (Tag-1(-/-);plp(Tg(rTag-1))). Phenotypic analysis clearly demonstrates that glial TAG-1 is sufficient for the proper organization and maintenance of the juxtaparanodal domain in the CNS. Biochemical analysis shows that glial TAG-1 physically interacts with Caspr2 and VGKCs. Ultrastructural and behavioral analysis of Tag-1(-/-);plp(Tg(rTag-1)) mice shows that the expression of glial TAG-1 is sufficient to restore the axonal and myelin deficits as well as the behavioral defects observed in Tag-1(-/-) animals. Together, these data highlight the pivotal role of myelinating glia on axonal domain differentiation and organization.

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