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J Comp Neurol. 2004 Mar 8;470(3):266-81.

Characterization of synaptogyrin 3 as a new synaptic vesicle protein.

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W.M. Keck Center for Learning and Memory, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas-Houston Medical School, Houston, Texas, 77030, USA.


Synaptogyrins comprise a family of tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins with two neuronal (synaptogyrins 1 and 3) and one ubiquitous (cellugyrin) isoform. Previous studies have indicated that synaptogyrins are involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release. Synaptogyrin 1 is a synaptic vesicle protein; cellugyrin, by contrast, is absent from synaptic vesicles. In an effort to further characterize the synaptogyrin family, we studied the distribution of the synaptogyrin 3 protein in the nervous system. Subcellular fractionation and immunoprecipitation of synaptic vesicles from mouse brain showed that synaptogyrin 3 is associated with synaptic vesicles and that synaptogyrins 1 and 3 can reside on the same synaptic vesicle. Immunofluorescent staining of cultured hippocampal neurons confirmed the synaptic localization of synaptogyrin 3. Analysis of the relative distributions of synaptogyrins 1 and 3 in mouse brain revealed a more restricted expression pattern for synaptogyrin 3 compared to the ubiquitous distribution of synaptogyrin 1. Strong synaptogyrin 3 labeling was observed in the mossy fiber region of the hippocampus, substantia nigra pars reticulata, pallidum, and deep cerebellar nuclei. By comparison, the striatum and reticular and ventral posterolateral thalamic nuclei, which all showed synaptogyrin 1 labeling, contained significantly less synaptogyrin 3. Finally, we used in situ hybridization experiments to correlate synaptogyrin 3 mRNA in cell bodies with synaptogyrin 3 protein at synapses. Altogether, our data indicate that neuronal synaptogyrins are differentially expressed protein isoforms that may represent functionally distinct populations of synapses and/or synaptic vesicles.

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