Charcot–Marie–Tooth type 4B (CMT4B) is a severe autosomal recessive neuropathy with demyelination and myelin outfoldings of the nerve. This disorder is genetically heterogeneous, but thus far, mutations in myotubularin-related 2 (MTMR2) and MTMR13 genes have been shown to underlie CMT4B1 and CMT4B2, respectively. MTMR2 and MTMR13 belong to a family of ubiquitously expressed proteins sharing homology with protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). The MTMR family, which has 14 members in humans, comprises catalytically active proteins, such as MTMR2, and catalytically inactive proteins, such as MTMR13. Despite their homology with PTPs, catalytically active MTMR phosphatases dephosphorylate both PtdIns3P and PtdIns(3,5)P2 phosphoinositides. Thus, MTMR2 and MTMR13 may regulate vesicular trafficking in Schwann cells. Loss of these proteins could lead to uncontrolled folding of myelin and, ultimately, to CMT4B. In this review, we discuss recent findings on this interesting protein family with the main focus on MTMR2 and MTMR13 and their involvement in the biology of Schwann cell and CMT4B neuropathies.
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