(1) Two glycoproteins, P0 and PASII, are widely distributed in the peripheral myelin, but not in the central myelin of mammals. P0-like protein is expressed in both peripheral and central myelins of some lower vertebrates, such as fish and tadpoles. A close relationship is suggested between P0 expression and neural regenerative activity. (2) PMP22 was reported to show high sequence homology, not only to PASII, but also to the growth arrest specific protein. Human PASII/PMP22 sequence was deduced and the locus of its gene, chromosome 17p12-p11.2, is similar to the region linked to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A. (3) P0 expressed on cultured cells mediated strong homophilic cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth. Addition of the P0 glycopeptide inhibited cell adhesion markedly, indicating that the oligosaccharide with peptide is essential for P0 mediated cell adhesion. The active site for neurite outgrowth in P0 appears to be different from the adhesion site. (4) We determined the human chromosomal locus of the P0 gene, 1q22-q23, which corresponded to the locus of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1B. Point mutations in the extracellular domain of P0 are found in the patient's chromosome. (5) L1 is a large multifunctional adhesive glycoprotein of 200 kD. Rat and human L1 sequences confirmed a common structure for the mammalian nervous systems. An isoform of L1 (L1cs), lacking four amino acids, appears to localize in non-neuronal cells such as Schwann cells, while the complete L1 is exclusively found in neurons. L1cs in Schwann cells may be functionally different from L1 in neurons.