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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A August 15, 1995; 92 (17): 8001-5.
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Molecular cloning and functional characterization of the Xenopus Ca(2+)-binding protein frequenin.

Olafsson P , Wang T , Lu B .

Frequenin was originally identified in Drosophila melanogaster as a Ca(2+)-binding protein facilitating transmitter release at the neuromuscular junction. We have cloned the Xenopus frequenin (Xfreq) by PCR using degenerate primers combined with low-stringency hybridization. The deduced protein has 70% identity with Drosophila frequenin and about 38-58% identity with other Ca(2+)-binding proteins. The most prominent features are the four EF-hands, Ca(2+)-binding motifs. Xfreq mRNA is abundant in the brain and virtually nondetectable from adult muscle. Western blot analysis indicated that Xfreq is highly concentrated in the adult brain and is absent from nonneural tissues such as heart and kidney. During development, the expression of the protein correlated well with the maturation of neuromuscular synapses. To determine the function of Xfreq at the developing neuromuscular junction, the recombinant protein was introduced into Xenopus embryonic spinal neurons by early blastomere injection. Synapses made by spinal neurons containing exogenous Xfreq exhibited a much higher synaptic efficacy. These results provide direct evidence that frequenin enhances transmitter release at the vertebrate neuromuscular synapse and suggest its potential role in synaptic development and plasticity.

PubMed ID: 7644528
PMC ID: PMC41274
Article link: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ncs1 rcvrn.2 vsnl1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Baimbridge, Calcium-binding proteins in the nervous system. 1992, Pubmed