Myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG): past, present and beyond

J Neurochem. 2007 Mar;100(6):1431-48. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2006.04319.x. Epub 2007 Jan 4.


The myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) is a type I transmembrane glycoprotein localized in periaxonal Schwann cell and oligodendroglial membranes of myelin sheaths where it functions in glia-axon interactions. It contains five immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains and is in the sialic acid-binding subgroup of the Ig superfamily. It appears to function both as a ligand for an axonal receptor that is needed for the maintenance of myelinated axons and as a receptor for an axonal signal that promotes the differentiation, maintenance and survival of oligodendrocytes. Its function in the maintenance of myelinated axons may be related to its role as one of the white matter inhibitors of neurite outgrowth acting through a receptor complex involving the Nogo receptor and/or gangliosides containing 2,3-linked sialic acid. MAG is expressed as two developmentally regulated isoforms with different cytoplasmic domains that may activate different signal transduction pathways in myelin-forming cells. 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein / physiology*
  • Schwann Cells / cytology
  • Schwann Cells / metabolism*


  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein