The subcellular distribution of Proteins Ia and Ib, two proteins which serve as specific substrates for protein kinases present in mammalian brain, was studied in the dog cerebral cortex. Proteins Ia and Ib were found to be most highly enriched in synaptic vesicle fractions; they were also present in postsynaptic density and synaptic membrane fractions in significant amounts. Proteins Ia and Ib present in the synaptic vesicle fraction appear to be similar, if not identical, to those present in the postsynaptic density fraction as judged by several criteria: (a) the ability to serve as substrate for cAMP-dependent protein kinase, (b) electrophoretic mobility in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate, (c) extractability with NH4Cl or EGTA, and (d) fragmentation to electrophoretically similar peptides by a purified Staphylococcus aureus protease. In addition, the postsynaptic density fraction has been found to contain cAMP-dependent Protein Ia and Protein Ib kinase activity. The subcellular localization of Proteins Ia and Ib suggests a role for these proteins in the physiology of the synapse.

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