GSBS Student Publications


Local ERM activation and dynamic growth cones at Schwann cell tips implicated in efficient formation of nodes of Ranvier

GSBS Program

Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Cell Biology

Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Nodes of Ranvier are specialized, highly polarized axonal domains crucial to the propagation of saltatory action potentials. In the peripheral nervous system, axo-glial cell contacts have been implicated in Schwann cell (SC) differentiation and formation of the nodes of Ranvier. SC microvilli establish axonal contact at mature nodes, and their components have been observed to localize early to sites of developing nodes. However, a role for these contacts in node formation remains controversial.Using a myelinating explant culture system, we have observed that SCs reorganize and polarize microvillar components, such as the ezrin-binding phosphoprotein 50 kD/regulatory cofactor of the sodium-hydrogen exchanger isoform 3 (NHERF-1), actin, and the activated ezrin, radixin, and moesin family proteins before myelination in response to inductive signals. These components are targeted to the SC distal tips where live cell imaging reveals novel, dynamic growth cone-like behavior. Furthermore, localized activation of the Rho signaling pathway at SC tips gives rise to these microvillar component-enriched "caps" and influences the efficiency of node formation.

DOI of Published Version



J Cell Biol. 2003 Aug 4;162(3):489-98. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of cell biology

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID