Coordinate and noncoordinate regulation of synaptic vesicle protein genes during embryonic development

Xingjian Lou, John L. Bixby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Because the formation of a mature nerve terminal requires the accumulation of large quantities of synaptic vesicles, the expression of synaptic vesicle proteins would be expected to correlate with synaptogenesis. However, previous studies have provided conflicting evidence on this point. We have examined the developmental pattern of expression of mRNA and protein for three RNAs derived from two genes coding for synaptic vesicle membrane proteins. For these experiments, we cloned a chick p65 (synaptotagmin) cDNA using a reduced stringency screen with a rat p65 cDNA probe. We examined p65 expression in chick forebrain in conjunction with that of synaptophysin II. RNase protection assays for p65 and the two isoforms of synaptophysin II (Bixby, 1992) show essentially coordinate increases of these three mRNAs in embryonic forebrain during the peak period of synaptogenesis (E17 to E20). However, each of the three mRNAs has a distinct temporal pattern of expression during the early stages of embryogenesis. In the ciliary ganglion, upregulation of synaptophysin II mRNA correlates very well with synaptogenesis. Our results suggest that the regulation of expression of vesicle membrane protein mRNA can serve as a marker for synaptogenesis, despite temporal differences in early expression patterns. In contrast to mRNA expression, assays for vesicle protein expression show a relatively steady rise in both p65 and synaptophysin II throughout the embryonic period, without a sharp increase corresponding to that seen in message levels. These results suggest that the expression both of the pG5 and of the synaptophysin II proteins is post-transcriptionally regulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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