We describe herein the cloning of a group of syntaxins in Limulus that are associated with the plasma membrane. Initially, multiple degenerate oligonucleotide primers (DOP) and probes were designed from sequences of known plasma membrane associated syntaxins. Combined experiments using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), colony hybridization and reverse dot blot yielded three distinct probes. Subsequently, two cDNA libraries derived from the Limulus central nervous system (CNS) were screened and four distinct isoforms, designated Limulus syntaxin (Lim-syn) 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D, were obtained from forty cloned full-length sequences. The predicted amino acid (aa) sequences 1-265 were identical for Lim-syn 1A, 1C and for Lim-syn 1B, 1D, respectively. A comparison of the 265 aa cytoplasmic segments for the two subgroups Lim-syn 1A/1C and Lim-syn 1B/1D differed at 13 aa residues within this sequence. Lim-syn 1A and 1B contained 290 aa residues, and both contained a transmembrane domain (TMD, 267-288) and a myristylation-like site (286-290) at the C-termini. Lim-syn 1C (291 residues) contained only the TMD whereas Lim-syn 1D was truncated (277 residues) and had neither a TMD nor a myristylation-like site. All Lim-syn isoforms showed great identity with syntaxin 1-homologs (syntaxin 1A/1B) from various other species. Ribonuclease protection assay (RPA) analyses revealed distinctive expression patterns for individual Lim-syn transcripts but all were detectable in the CNS. Moreover, the antibody (anti-Lim-syn-1) produced against aa 133-145 epitope of Lim-syn identified a protein of ∼35 kDa found only in CNS tissues. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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