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Eur J Cell Biol. 1994 Dec;65(2):319-26.

Localization of Rab5 to synaptic vesicles identifies endosomal intermediate in synaptic vesicle recycling pathway.

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Department of Cell Biology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.


After exocytosis, synaptic vesicles rapidly endocytose and recycle but little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved. Rab5 is a ubiquitous low molecular weight GTP-binding protein required for endosomal fusion in fibroblasts. We have now raised polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies to rat Rab5 and show that in rat brain, Rab5 is a major synaptic vesicle protein. Immunoisolation of vesicular organelles from brain with antibodies to either Rab3A and Rab5 as small GTP-binding proteins or with synaptophysin as general synaptic vesicle marker demonstrates that there are overlapping populations of synaptic vesicles containing either Rab5 or Rab3A or both, suggesting a stage-specific association of these low-molecular weight GTP-binding proteins with synaptic vesicles. Our data provide the first biochemical evidence that synaptic vesicle recycling involves an endosomal intermediate similar to that of the receptor-mediated endocytosis pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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