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J Neurochem. 1996 May;66(5):2188-96.

Preparation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies specific for lauroylated isoform of bovine transducin alpha-subunit: immunohistochemical analysis of bovine retinas.

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Department of Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The photoreceptor G protein transducin [alpha- and beta gamma-subunits (T alpha/T beta gamma)] plays a central role in the visual transduction process. The amino-terminus of bovine T alpha is modified by one of four distinct fatty acids-laurate (C12:0), myristate (C14:0), C14:1 (5-cis), and C14:2 (5-cis, 8-cis)-but the biological significance and the localization of the four isoforms of T alpha are poorly understood. To investigate the cellular distribution of each isoform, we prepared monoclonal antibodies against a synthetic C12:0-, C14:0-, C14:1-, or C14:2-nonapeptide corresponding to the N-terminal region of T alpha. Among several types of antibodies isolated, only one type, represented by LA4, reacted specifically with the C12:0-peptide as well as purified T alpha but not with the other proteins in bovine retinal homogenate, including recoverin, indicating that the epitope comprises both C12:0 and the N-terminal amino acids of T alpha. Immunohistochemical analyses of bovine retinal sections by LA4 showed the uniform distribution of C12:0-T alpha in almost all the rod outer segments. Hence, it seemed unlikely that each isoform of T alpha was localized in specific cells. This observation, together with evidence for a possible functional diversity among the isoforms, suggests that the four isoforms of T alpha in a single rod cell may contribute simultaneously to a fine tuning of the photon-signal transduction process.

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