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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Peripheral myelin protein 22 is a constituent of intercellular junctions in epithelia.

Alterations in peripheral myelin protein 22 ( PMP22) gene expression are associated with a host of heritable demyelinating peripheral neuropathies, yet the function of the protein remains unknown. PMP22 expression is highest in myelinating Schwann cells of peripheral nerves; however, significant levels of PMP22 mRNAs can be detected in a variety of non-neural tissue, including epithelia. To date, PMP22 protein expression and localization in non-neural tissues have not been studied in detail. In adult rat liver and intestine, and cultured epithelial cells, we detected PMP22-like immunoreactivity associated with markers of the tight junctional complex, including zonula occludens 1 ( ZO-1) and occludin. Upon disruption of intercellular contacts, PMP22 was internalized into vesicles that were immunoreactive for both anti-occludin and anti- PMP22 antibodies. Nonionic detergent extraction of cultured epithelial cells did not solubilize PMP22, as the majority of the protein remained in the detergent insoluble fraction, as did ZO-1 and occludin. We also observed the targeting of exogenous myc-tagged PMP22 to apical cell junctions in polarized epithelia and to anti- ZO-1 antibody immunoreactive cell contacts of L fibroblasts. These studies support a role for PMP22 at intercellular junctions of epithelia and may indicate a similar function in myelinating Schwann cells. Furthermore, our findings could provide an explanation for certain phenotypes of PMP22 neuropathy mice that cannot be accounted for by dysmyelination.[1]


  1. Peripheral myelin protein 22 is a constituent of intercellular junctions in epithelia. Notterpek, L., Roux, K.J., Amici, S.A., Yazdanpour, A., Rahner, C., Fletcher, B.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
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