We have recently described a novel cDNA, SR13 (Welcher, A. A., U. Suter, M. De Leon, G. J. Snipes, and E. M. Shooter. 1991. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 88:7195-7199), that is repressed after sciatic nerve crush injury and shows homology to both the growth arrest-specific mRNA, gas3 (Manfioletti, G., M. E. Ruaro, G. Del Sal, L. Philipson, and C. Schneider, 1990. Mol. Cell Biol. 10:2924-2930), and to the myelin protein, PASII (Kitamura, K., M. Suzuki, and K. Uyemura. 1976. Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 455:806-816). In this report, we show that the 22-kD SR13 protein is expressed in the compact portion of essentially all myelinated fibers in the peripheral nervous system. Although SR13 mRNA was found in the central nervous system, no corresponding SR13 protein could be detected by either immunoblot analysis or by immunohistochemistry. Northern and immunoblot analysis of SR13 mRNA and protein expression during development of the peripheral nervous system reveal a pattern similar to other myelin proteins. Furthermore, we demonstrate by in situ mRNA hybridization on tissue sections and on individual nerve fibers that SR13 mRNA is produced predominantly by Schwann cells. We conclude that the SR13 protein is apparently exclusively expressed in the peripheral nervous system where it is a major component of myelin. Thus, we propose the name Peripheral Myelin Protein-22 (PMP-22) for the proteins and cDNA previously designated PASII, SR13, and gas3.

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