Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

How Does Protein Zero Assemble Compact Myelin?

Version 1 : Received: 12 May 2020 / Approved: 13 May 2020 / Online: 13 May 2020 (04:51:20 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


Myelin protein zero (P0), a type I transmembrane protein, is the most abundant protein in peripheral nervous system (PNS) myelin – the lipid-rich, periodic structure that concentrically encloses long axonal segments. Schwann cells, the myelinating glia of the PNS, express P0 throughout their development until the formation of mature myelin. In the intramyelinic compartment, the immunoglobulin-like domain of P0 bridges apposing membranes together via homophilic adhesion, forming a dense, macroscopic ultrastructure known as the intraperiod line. The C-terminal tail of P0 adheres apposing membranes together in the narrow cytoplasmic compartment of compact myelin, much like myelin basic protein (MBP). In mouse models, the absence of P0, unlike that of MBP or P2, severely disturbs the formation of myelin. Therefore, P0 is the executive molecule of PNS myelin maturation. How and when is P0 trafficked and modified to enable myelin compaction, and how disease mutations that give rise to incurable peripheral neuropathies alter the function of P0, are currently open questions. The potential mechanisms of P0 function in myelination are discussed, providing a foundation for the understanding of mature myelin development and how it derails in peripheral neuropathies.


myelin; myelination; development; peripheral neuropathies; protein folding; transmembrane protein; protein-membrane interaction; protein-protein interaction


Biology and Life Sciences, Cell and Developmental Biology

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