Ezrin, radixin, and moesin (ERM proteins), as well as the neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) tumor suppressor merlin/schwannomin, all belong to the protein 4.1 family, yet only merlin is a tumor suppressor in Schwann cells. To gain insight into the possible functions of ERM proteins in Schwann cells, we examined their localization in peripheral nerve, because we have previously shown that merlin is found in paranodes and in Schmidt-Lanterman incisures. All three ERM proteins were highly expressed in the microvilli of myelinating Schwann cells that surround the nodal axolemma as well as in incisures and cytoplasmic puncta in the vicinity of the node. In all of these locations, ERM proteins were colocalized with actin filaments. In contrast, ERM proteins did not surround nodes in the CNS. The colocalization of ERM proteins With actin indicates that they have functions different from those of merlin in myelinating Schwann cells.
- ERM proteins
- Nodes of Ranvier