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Biological Role of Dystroglycan in Schwann Cell Function and Its Implications in Peripheral Nervous System Diseases

Author(s): Toshihiro Masaki | Kiichiro Matsumura

Journal: Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
ISSN 1110-7243

Volume: 2010;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Dystroglycan is a central component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) that links extracellular matrix with cytoskeleton, expressed in a variety of fetal and adult tissues. Dystroglycan plays diverse roles in development and homeostasis including basement membrane formation, epithelial morphogenesis, membrane stability, cell polarization, and cell migration. In this paper, we will focus on biological role of dystroglycan in Schwann cell function, especially myelination. First, we review the molecular architecture of DGC in Schwann cell abaxonal membrane. Then, we will review the loss-of-function studies using targeted mutagenesis, which have revealed biological functions of each component of DGC in Schwann cells. Based on these findings, roles of dystroglycan in Schwann cell function, in myelination in particular, and its implications in diseases will be discussed in detail. Finally, in view of the fact that understanding the role of dystroglycan in Schwann cells is just beginning, future perspectives will be discussed.
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