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J Neurosci. 1988 Aug;8(8):2804-15.

Synuclein: a neuron-specific protein localized to the nucleus and presynaptic nerve terminal.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, California 94305.


We used an antiserum against purified cholinergic synaptic vesicles from Torpedo and expression screening to isolate a cDNA clone encoding synuclein, a 143 amino acid neuron-specific protein. A cDNA clone was also isolated from a rat brain cDNA library that encodes a highly homologous 140 amino acid protein. The amino terminal 100 amino acids of both proteins are comprised of an 11 amino acid repeating unit that contains a conserved core of 6 residues. The synuclein gene is expressed only in nervous system tissue, not in electric organ, muscle, liver, spleen, heart, or kidney. In the electric organ synapse Torpedo synuclein-immunoreactive proteins are found in 3 major molecular-weight classes of 17.5, 18.5, and 20.0 kDa. In the neuronal cell soma the 17.5 kDa species is predominant and immunoreactivity is localized to a portion of the nuclear envelope.

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