Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) is one of the major proteins of the myelin sheath surrounding axons in the nervous system. Since it is of relatively low molecular weight and high abundance the protein sequence was determined from purified protein over 30 years ago. The protein is made by oligodendrocytes in the central and nervous system, so antibodies to MBP are good markers of this cell type. In the peripheral nervous system MBP is expressed by myelinating Schwann cells so this antibody can be used to identify these cells in culture or sections. In the central nervous system four different forms of the protein made by alternate transcription from a single gene, the protein products having molecular weights of 21.5, 20.5, 18.5, and 17.2kDa in humans.
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