Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Tacking Myelin Seams

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Science's STKE  04 Dec 2007:
Vol. 2007, Issue 415, pp. tw444
DOI: 10.1126/stke.4152007tw444

Schwann cells wrap layers of myelin around nerve axons to provide the electrical insulation that speeds conduction of the action potential. At the gaps between the Schwann cells are nodes that the electrical impulse must jump. At these nodes, the myelin layers are held down particularly tightly to provide an insulating seal. Scheiermann et al. have now identified JAM-C, a junctional adhesion protein known for its role in adhesion between endothelial cells and intestinal cells, as one of the proteins responsible for sealing these edges of the myelin sheath.

C. Scheiermann, P. Meda, M. Aurrand-Lions, R. Madani, Y. Yiangou, P. Coffey, T. E. Salt, D. Ducrest-Gay, D. Caille, O. Howell, R. Reynolds, A. Lobrinus, R. H. Adams, A. S. L. Yu, P. Anand, B. A. Imhof, S. Nourshargh, Expression and function of junctional adhesion molecule-C in myelinated peripheral nerves. Science 318, 1472-1475 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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