Abstract: The expression of the neurone‐specific D2 protein changes both quantitatively and qualitatively during development in vivo and in cultures of cerebellar nerve cells. The total D2 content per unit protein shows a twofold increase in vivo from birth to postnatal day 6, after which it declines progressively to about 50% of the maximal value. This increase can be accounted for by an immature form of the protein anodic D2 being preferentially expressed at the early stages of cerebellar development. After postnatal day 9 this form gradually switches to a mature form cathodic D2. This switch can be mimicked by neuraminidase treatment, suggesting a developmental loss of sialic acid from the D2 protein. In freshly isolated cells the total D2 content per unit protein is only 30% of that in the corresponding intact tissue from 8‐day‐old cerebella, but it increases rapidly during the first 8 days of culture to levels similar to those of the equivalent age in vivo. The switch from anodic D2 to cathodic D2 also occurs at a faster rate in culture, probably reflecting the culture conditions that favour differentiation. The changes in the expression of D2 during development of cerebellar nerve cells in culture suggest that anodic D2 is preferentially expressed on nerve cells that are proliferating, migrating, or in the initial stages of differentiation, whereas cathodic D2 is associated with differentiated neurones. The transition between the two forms appears to occur during the formation of interneuronal contacts.
Journal of Neurochemistry – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 1984
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