Patterns of Presynaptic Gene Expression Define Two Stages of Synaptic Differentiation

Xing Jian Lou, John L. Bixby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

To elucidate the sequence of molecular events leading to nerve terminal differentiation, we have examined the regulation of expression of presynaptic protein genes during synapse formation in vivo. In the chick ciliary ganglion (CG), synaptophysin IIa and synaptophysin IIb mRNAs showed threefold increases relative to neurofilament-M mRNA during the time of target contact [Embryonic Day 7 (E7)-E9]. Expression of synaptotagmin I mRNA also increased severalfold over this time interval. Thus, mRNAs for three synaptic vesicle proteins are upregulated coordinately during synaptogenesis. In contrast, the major increase in choline acetyltransferase (CHAT) mRNA (four-to fivefold) occurred between E15 and E20, coincident with the maturation of synapses in the CG. Coincident with ChAT upregulation, there is a switch in the relative abundance of mRNAs encoding vesicle protein isoforms. In particular, mRNAs encoding synaptophysin IIb and synaptotagmin II (which is undetectable at E9) become predominant. Therefore, although synaptic vesicle protein mRNAs are upregulated in a first phase of differentiation at the time of synapse formation, a temporally distinct phase of presynaptic protein gene regulation, associated with the specific maturation of synapses, is also apparent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-262
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of Presynaptic Gene Expression Define Two Stages of Synaptic Differentiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this