Axonal insulation is of key importance for the proper propagation of action potentials. In Drosophila and other invertebrates, it has recently been demonstrated that septate junctions play an essential role in axonal insulation or blood-brain-barrier formation. Neurexin IV, a molecular component of Drosophila septate junctions, has been shown to be essential for axonal insulation in the PNS in embryos and larvae. Interestingly, a vertebrate homolog of Neurexin IV, caspr - also named paranodin - has ben shown to localize to septate-like junctional structures. These vertebrate junctions are localized to the paranodal region of the nodes of Ranvier, between axons and Schwann cells. Caspr/paranodin might play an important role in barrier formation, and link neuronal membrane components with the axonal cytoskeletal network.
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