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J Neurosci. 1994 Sep;14(9):5223-35.

Differential expression of synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2) isoforms.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University, California 94305.


The synaptic vesicle proteins SV2A and SV2B (SV2 = synaptic vesicle protein 2) are two highly related proteins belonging to a family of transporters. As a first step toward identifying the function of the SV2 proteins, we examined the expression of SV2A and SV2B in the rat brain by in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and immunoprecipitation with isoform-specific antibodies. These analyses revealed that one isoform, SV2A, is expressed ubiquitously throughout the brain at varying levels. The other isoform, SV2B, has a more limited distribution with varying degrees of coexpression with SV2A. Immunoprecipitation of brain synaptic vesicles with isoform-specific antibodies followed by Western analyses suggests that both isoforms can be present on the same synaptic vesicle. The expression of the SV2 proteins did not correlate either with neurotransmitter phenotype or with the expression of other synaptic vesicle protein isoforms. SV2B expression was observed to change during development; it is more widely expressed in the immature brain and is found in cells that have yet to establish synaptic contacts. The ubiquitous and overlapping expression of the SV2s suggests that they perform a function common to all synaptic vesicles. Variable and changing coexpression of the SV2 isoforms may indicate that SV2 function is regulated by the isoform composition of synaptic vesicles. The observation that the synaptic vesicle proteins, all occurring in multiple isoforms, are differentially expressed with respect to each other indicates that up to 90 different vesicle types are possible.

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