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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2000 Apr;15(4):408-16.

Synaptobrevin 2 is palmitoylated in synaptic vesicles prepared from adult, but not from embryonic brain.

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Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, Free University, Berlin, Germany.


Neuronal SNARE-proteins such as synaptobrevin, SNAP 25, and synaptotagmin are key players during neurosecretion. So far palmitoylation of SNAP-25 and synaptotagmin 1 have been described in vivo. Here we have analyzed palmitoylation of the SNARE-proteins synaptobrevin 2 and synaptotagmin in vitro using synaptosomal and synaptic vesicle preparations from rat brain. Labeling of synaptic vesicles prepared from adult brain with [3H]palmitate revealed synaptobrevin 2 besides synaptotagmin 1 as major palmitoylated proteins. [3H]Palmitoylation of synaptobrevin 2 was resistant to chloroform/methanol extraction, but sensitive to reducing agents indicating a covalent fatty acid bond to cysteine residues. Palmitoylation of synaptobrevin 2 was also confirmed using endogenous synaptobrevin 2 present in PC-12 cells and synaptobrevin 2 expressed with a vacciniavirus system in Cos cells. In contrast to the situation seen with membrane preparations obtained from adult brain, synaptic vesicles prepared from embryonic rat brain did not support [3H]palmitoylation of synaptobrevin and synaptotagmin. These results suggest, that both synaptobrevin 2 and synaptotagmin were efficiently palmitoylated from mature synaptic vesicles. However, at least one component of the palmitoylation machinery is developmentally upregulated.

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