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Cell Tissue Res. 1999 Mar;295(3):395-407.

Cellular and subcellular distribution of the calcium-binding protein NCS-1 in the central nervous system of the rat.

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National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093-0608, USA.


NCS-1 (neuronal calcium sensor) is a recently characterized member of a highly conserved neuron-specific family of calcium-binding proteins, which also includes frequenin and recoverin. The cellular and subcellular distributions of NCS-1 in the rat nervous system were investigated using light- and electron-microscopic immunohistochemistry. NCS-1 immunoreactivity was localized to neuronal cell bodies and axons throughout the brain and spinal cord but not to glial cells. The most intense labeling was observed in myelinated axons, the axonal ramifications of the basket cell in the cerebellar cortex, and large neurons in the brainstem and pons. These same structures were also characterized by heavy labeling for neurofilament protein, as determined by double-labeling experiments. Most axon terminals were unlabeled or only lightly labeled. The most remarkable subcellular staining occurred in the perikarya where intense labeling was associated with the membranes of the trans saccules of the Golgi apparatus. The widespread distribution of NCS-1 indicates that it may be active in a variety of calcium-dependent neuronal functions, whereas the specific subcellular localization to the Golgi apparatus and neurofilament-rich structures suggests a specialized role in calcium regulated protein trafficking and cytoskeletal interactions.

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