The 200-kD subunit of neurofilaments (NF-H) functions as a cross-bridge between neurofilaments and the neuronal cytoskeleton. In this study, four phosphorylated NF-H variants were identified as major constituents of axons from a single neuron type, the retinal ganglion cell, and were shown to have characteristics with different functional implications. We resolved four major Coomassie Blue-stained proteins with apparent molecular masses of 197, 200, 205, and 210 kD on high resolution one-dimensional SDS-polyacrylamide gels of mouse optic axons (optic nerve and optic tract). Proteins with the same electrophoretic mobilities were radiolabeled within retinal ganglion cells in vivo after injecting mice intravitreally with [35S]methionine or [3H]proline. Extraction of the radiolabeled protein fraction with 1% Triton X-100 distinguished four insoluble polypeptides (P197, P200, P205, P210) with expected characteristics of NF-H from two soluble neuronal polypeptides (S197, S200) with few properties of neurofilament proteins. The four Triton-insoluble polypeptides displayed greater than 90% structural homology by two-dimensional alpha-chymotryptic iodopeptide map analysis and cross-reacted with four different monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to NF-H by immunoblot analysis. Each of these four polypeptides advanced along axons primarily in the Group V (SCa) phase of axoplasmic transport. By contrast, the two Triton-soluble polypeptides displayed only a minor degree of alpha-chymotryptic peptide homology with the Triton-insoluble NF-H forms, did not cross-react with NF-H antibodies, and moved primarily in the Group IV (SCb) wave of axoplasmic transport. The four NF-H variants were generated by phosphorylation of a single polypeptide. Each of these polypeptides incorporated 32P when retinal ganglion cells were radiolabeled in vivo with [32P]orthophosphate and each cross-reacted with monoclonal antibodies specifically directed against phosphorylated epitopes on NF-H. When dephosphorylated in vitro with alkaline phosphatase, the four variants disappeared, giving rise to a single polypeptide with the same apparent molecular mass (160 kD) as newly synthesized, unmodified NF-H. The NF-H variants distributed differently along optic axons. P197 predominated at proximal axonal levels; P200 displayed a relatively uniform distribution; and P205 and P210 became increasingly prominent at more distal axonal levels, paralleling the distribution of the stationary neurofilament network.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Multiple phosphorylated variants of the high molecular mass subunit of neurofilaments in axons of retinal cell neurons: characterization and evidence for their differential association with stationary and moving neurofilaments.
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S E Lewis, R A Nixon; Multiple phosphorylated variants of the high molecular mass subunit of neurofilaments in axons of retinal cell neurons: characterization and evidence for their differential association with stationary and moving neurofilaments.. J Cell Biol 1 December 1988; 107 (6): 2689–2701. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.107.6.2689
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