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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1984 Sep;81(17):5604-8.

Immunocytochemical localization of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in rat brain.


Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II) is a prominent enzyme in mammalian brain capable of phosphorylating a variety of substrate proteins. In the present investigation, the subcellular and regional distribution of CaM kinase II has been studied by light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry using an antibody that recognizes the Mr 50,000 and 60,000/58,000 subunits of the enzyme. Light microscopy demonstrates strong immunoreactivity in neuronal somata and dendrites and weak immunoreactivity in axons. Electron microscopy, in addition to confirming light microscopic observations, reveals moderate immunoreactivity in spines and weak immunoreactivity in nerve terminals. An accumulation of immunoreaction product is also present on postsynaptic densities. The presence of CaM kinase II in diverse structures throughout the neuron supports the view that this enzyme may be involved in mediating a variety of calcium-dependent physiological processes. CaM kinase II immunoreactivity is present in neurons throughout the brain, but a marked regional variation in the strength of the immunoreactivity exists. Overall, there is a gradient of staining intensity with the strongest immunoreactivity in the telencephalon and the weakest in the myelencephalon. The most heavily labeled regions of the telencephalon are the hippocampal formation, lateral septum, cortical regions, neostriatum, and amygdaloid complex.

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