Protein 4.1B associates with both Caspr/paranodin and Caspr2 at paranodes and juxtaparanodes of myelinated fibres.
Caspr/paranodin, a neuronal transmembrane glycoprotein, is essential for the structure and function of septate-like paranodal axoglial junctions at nodes of Ranvier. A closely related protein, Caspr2, is concentrated in juxtaparanodal regions where it associates indirectly with the shaker-type potassium channels. Although ultrastructural studies indicate that paranodal complexes are linked to the cytoskeleton, the intracellular partners of Caspr/paranodin, as well as those of Caspr2, are poorly characterized. We show that the conserved intracellular juxtamembrane regions (GNP motif) of Caspr/paranodin and Caspr2 bind proteins 4.1R and 4.1B. 4.1B is known to be enriched in paranodal and juxtaparanodal regions. 4.1B immunoreactivity accumulates progressively at paranodes and juxtaparanodes during postnatal development, following the concentration of Caspr/paranodin and Caspr2, respectively, in central and peripheral myelinated axons. These two proteins coimmunoprecipitated with 4.1B in brain homogenates. Our results provide strong evidence for the association of 4.1B with Caspr/paranodin at paranodes and with Caspr2 at juxtaparanodes. We propose that 4.1B anchors these axonal proteins to the actin-based cytoskeleton in these two regions.