The myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) contains five immunoglobulin-like domains and belongs to the sialic-acid-binding subgroup of the Ig superfamily. MAG is a transmembrane glycoprotein of 1kDa localized in myelin sheaths of periaxonal Schwann cell and oligodendroglial membranes where it functions in glia-axon interactions. It appears to function both as a receptor for an axonal signal that promotes the differentiation, maintenance and survival of oligodendrocytes and as a ligand for an axonal receptor that is needed for the maintence of myelinated axons. MAG contains a carbohydrate epitope shared with other glycoconjugates that is a target antigen in autoimmune peripheral neuropathy associated with IgM gammopathy and has been implicated in a dying back oligodendrogliopathy in multiple sclerosis. MAG is considered as a transmembrane protein of both CNS and PNS myelin and it strongly inhibits neurite outgrowth in both developing cerebellar and adult dosal root ganglion neurons. In contrast, MAG promotes neurite outgrowth from newborn DRG neurons. Thus, MAG may be responsible for the lack of CNS nerve regeneration and may influce both temporally and spatially regeneration in the PNS.
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