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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Munc-18-1 and cysteine string protein ( csp) in pinealocytes of the gerbil pineal gland.

Mammalian pinealocytes contain several synaptic membrane proteins which probably play a role in the targeting and exocytosis of secretory vesicles, in particular of synaptic-like microvesicles (SLMVs). The latter are considered as the endocrine equivalent of neuronal synaptic vesicles. By means of immunocytochemical techniques and immunoblot analyses, we now show that two further key components of the molecular apparatus regulating neurotransmitter release are present in the gerbil pineal gland, i.e., munc-18-1 and cysteine string protein ( csp). In addition to varicosities of nerve fibres, munc-18-1 and csp could be localized to pinealocytes where both proteins were markedly enriched in process swellings. When using antibodies against csp for an immunogold electron-microscopic study of pinealocytes, gold particles consistently decorated profiles of pleomorphic SLMVs. Interestingly, we found that also the cytosolic protein munc-18, which is partially recruited to the plasmalemma in neurons, was associated to a significant extent with SLMVs of pinealocytes and synaptic vesicles of neurons, respectively. This localization implies that munc-18 at least partially exerts its regulatory functions while being bound to secretory vesicle membranes. Our results indicate that in endocrine cells such as pinealocytes the synaptic proteins munc-18-1 and csp play essential roles during the life cycle of SLMVs.[1]


  1. Munc-18-1 and cysteine string protein (csp) in pinealocytes of the gerbil pineal gland. Redecker, P., Pabst, H., Grube, D. Cell Tissue Res. (1998) [Pubmed]
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