September 12th, 2003
Boston Cure Project
Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, or MOG for short, is a protein found in the myelin of the central nervous system. It's a relatively minor component in that it only accounts for 0.05% of total myelin protein; however, it may be important in MS as it is capable of provoking strong immune responses. For instance, immunization of animals with MOG has been shown to cause an MS-like demyelinating disease; there is also evidence of anti-MOG T and B cell activities in MS.
In order to understand the role MOG may play in driving inflammation and/or demyelination in MS, it is important to understand its 3-dimensional structure and determine how it interacts with other molecules. A team of scientists has done just that for the segment of MOG that projects from the oligodendrocyte (the extracellular region) and recently published the results.1
They found that this MOG segment forms into a particular fold structure and can bind to another copy of itself in a head-to-tail fashion to form a dimer. Interestingly, a particularly encephalitogenic segment of MOG is located at this dimer interface. This may mean that this interface is important somehow in MS, and suggests a possible target in the development of therapies to block T and B cell responses to MOG.
1. "The crystal structure of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, a
key autoantigen in multiple sclerosis"
Clements CS, Reid HH, Beddoe T, Tynan FE, Perugini MA, Johns TG, Bernard CC, Rossjohn J.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Sep 16;100(19):11059-64. Epub 2003 Sep 05
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