R2D5 is a mouse monoclonal antibody that labels rabbit olfactory receptor neurons. Immunoblot analysis showed that mAb R2D5 recognizes a 22-kD protein with apparent pI of 4.8, which is abundantly contained in the olfactory epithelium and the olfactory bulb. We isolated cDNA for R2D5 antigen and confirmed by Northern analysis and neuronal depletion technique that R2D5 antigen is expressed predominantly, but not exclusively, in olfactory receptor neurons. Analysis of the deduced primary structure revealed that R2D5 antigen consists of 189 amino acids with calculated M(r) of 20,864 and pI of 4.74, has three calcium-binding EF hands, and has possible phosphorylation sites for Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II) and cAMP-dependent protein kinase (A kinase). Using the bacterially expressed protein, we directly examined the biochemical properties of R2D5 antigen. R2D5 antigen binds Ca2+ and undergoes a conformational change in a manner similar to calmodulin. R2D5 antigen is phosphorylated in vitro by CaM kinase II and A kinase at different sites, and 1.81 and 0.80 mol of Pi were maximally incorporated per mol of R2D5 antigen by CaM kinase II and A kinase, respectively. Detailed immunohistochemical study showed that R2D5 antigen is also expressed in a variety of ependymal cells in the rabbit central nervous system. Aside from ubiquitous calmodulin, R2D5 antigen is the first identified calcium-binding protein in olfactory receptor neurons that may modulate olfactory signal transduction. Furthermore our results indicate that olfactory receptor neurons and ependymal cells have certain signal transduction components in common, suggesting a novel physiological process in ependymal cells.
HNK-1 carbohydrate antigen in an epitope expressed commonly in many cell surface adhesion and recognition molecules in the nervous system. We purified and characterized from rat brain a novel phosphatidylinositol (PI)-anchored 150-kD glycoprotein belonging to the HNK-1 family. The molecule (PI-GP150) was detected by combination of PI-specific phospholipase C treatment of brain membranes and Western blot analysis with mAb HNK-1. HNK-1-positive PI-GP150 was purified from the PI-PLC-released materials with three successive chromatographies (Sephacryl S-300, mAb HNK-1-Sepharose 4B, and Mono Q) and proven to be a novel molecule by immunoblot and structural analyses. Polyclonal antibody was raised against PI-GP150 and used to show that (a) PI-GP150 is expressed on the surface of neuronal cell bodies and their processes in culture, and (b) PI-GP150 appears during embryonic development and is present throughout all postnatal life in all brain regions. However, the expression of the HNK-1 epitope on PI-GP150 is regulated in both developmental stage-specific and region-specific manners. In newborn rats, the HNK-1 epitope is expressed on PI-GP150 throughout the brain. The level of HNK-1 epitope on PI-GP150 decreases after postnatal day 7 in hindbrain and becomes completely absent in adult myelencephalon and metencephalon. In contrast, HNK-1 epitope on PI-GP150 was constitutively expressed in telencephalon. Thus, while the HNK-1 carbohydrate epitope is strongly coupled to PI-GP150, its expression can be regulated independently of that of PI-GP150. The differential expression of the HNK-1 epitope at different rostro-caudal axial levels was observed also in other HNK-1 family molecules in brain membranes. These results suggest that the HNK-1 epitope plays an important role in adding region-specific and developmental stage-specific modifications on the function of the cell surface molecules.