Synaptogyrin (p29) is a synaptic vesicle protein that is uniformly distributed in the nervous system (Baumert et al., 1990). We have cloned and sequenced the cDNA encoding synaptogyrin, and the sequence predicts a protein with a molecular mass of 25,900 D with four membrane-spanning domains. The topology of the protein was confirmed by limited proteolysis using domain-specific antibodies. Database searches revealed several cDNA sequences coding polypeptides with sequence identities ranging from 32 to 46%, suggesting that synaptogyrin is a member of a multigene family. When the synaptogyrin cDNA is expressed in COS cells, the generated protein is indistinguishable from native synaptogyrin. To study intracellular sorting, synaptogyrin was expressed in CHO cells that revealed a punctate staining that was very similar to that of synaptophysin and endogenously expressed cellubrevin. Significant overlap with transferrin staining was also observed, suggesting that synaptogyrin is targeted to a recycling compartment involved in membrane traffic to and from the plasma membrane.

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