Ranvier nodes are flanked by paranodal regions, at the level of which oligodendrocytes or Schwann cells interact closely with axons. Paranodes play a critical role in the physiological properties of myelinated nerve fibers. Paranodin, a prominent 180 kDa transmembrane neuronal glycoprotein, was purified and cloned from adult rat brain, and found to be highly concentrated in axonal membranes at their junction with myelinating glial cells, in paranodes of central and peripheral nerve fibers. The large extracellular domain of paranodin is related to neurexins, and its short intracellular tail binds protein 4.1, a cytoskeleton-anchoring protein. Paranodin may be a critical component of the macromolecular complex involved in the tight interactions between axons and myelinating glial cells characteristic of the paranodal region.