Division of Molecular Neurobiology (Professor Masaharu Noda) of the National Institute for Basic Biology has revealed that the protein tyrosine phosphatase zeta, Ptprz, is involved in regulation of the formation and regeneration of the myelin sheath that surrounds axons of neurons, in conjunction with the research department of Asubio Pharma Co., Ltd. The group found that Ptprz-deficient mice show early initiation of myelin sheath formation during brain development, and resistance to experimental demyelination, because of activation of myelin sheath reformation, in adults. Molecular and cellular level analyses revealed the mechanism by which Ptprz negatively regulates the intracellular signaling involved in the formation of the myelin sheath. These results clarify a part of the regulatory mechanism of myelin sheath formation, and will be very useful knowledge in the development of new types of therapeutic agents to promote regeneration of the myelin sheath in currently incurable demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. The results of this research were published in PLOS ONE on November 7.