Review Article

Amino Acids

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 175-185

First online:

Structural properties of proteins specific to the myelin sheath

  • P. KursulaAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, University of Oulu

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The myelin sheath is an insulating membrane layer surrounding myelinated axons in vertebrates, which is formed when the plasma membrane of an oligodendrocyte or a Schwann cell wraps itself around the axon. A large fraction of the total protein in this membrane layer is comprised of only a small number of individual proteins, which have certain intriguing structural properties. The myelin proteins are implicated in a number of neurological diseases, including, for example, autoimmune diseases and peripheral neuropathies. In this review, the structural properties of a number of myelin-specific proteins are described.

Keywords: Myelin – Membrane protein – Unstructured protein – Posttranslational modification – Protein domain – Protein structure