Distribution of Myelin Protein Gene Products in Actively-Myelinating Oligodendrocytes

  • Bruce D. Trapp
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 43)


The molecular and cellular biology of gene expression within myelin-forming oligodendrocytes currently offers one of the most fascinating and technically feasible areas of research in neurobiology. Myelination occurs throughout the neuroaxis and myelin-specific gene products are abundant and well-characterized. Translational products of myelin genes are assembled into ultrastructurally distinct membranes in an orderly and predictable manner. The spatial relationships between oligodendrocytes and their myelin internodes provide an excellent opportunity to study mechanisms of myelin protein transport and membrane assembly. In addition, functional diversity within various regions of the myelin internode, i.e., compact myelin versus paranodal regions versus periaxonal regions, will be reflected by differences in their molecular composition. Myelin-forming cells are a good model for investigating cell-cell interactions. The genetic program of myelin-forming cells is regulated by axonal influences that are at present poorly understood. This regulation is likely to require physical contact between the axolemma and peri-axonal membrane and to involve specific adhesion molecules.


Myelin Basic Protein Myelin Protein Proteolipid Protein Myelin Membrane Intrinsic Membrane Protein 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce D. Trapp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUnited States

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