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Immunohistochemical distribution and electron microscopic subcellular localization of the proteasome in the rat CNS

, : Immunohistochemical distribution and electron microscopic subcellular localization of the proteasome in the rat CNS. Journal of Neuroscience 16(20): 6331-6341

The proteasome multicatalytic proteinase (MCP) is a 20S complex that plays a major role in nonlysosomal pathways of intracellular protein degradation. A polyclonal antibody against rat liver MCP was used to investigate the distribution of MCP in the CNS of the rat and its subcellular localization within the neurons. As expected, MCP immunoreactivity (MCP-IR) was distributed ubiquitously in the rat CNS but not homogeneously. The most intensely stained neurons were the pyramidal cortical neurons of layer 5 and the motor neurons of the ventral horn in the spinal cord, which show an intense nuclear and cytoplasmatic MCP-IR and clearly stained processes. Additionally, some populations of large neurons in the mesencephalon and brainstem also displayed a moderate MCP-IR in their perikarya. The vast majority of neurons in the remaining structures did not show a strong cytoplasmatic MCP-IR, but their nuclei displayed an intense MCP-IR. The subcellular localization also was studied by immunoelectron microscopy. MCP-IR was intense in the neuronal nuclei, and significant staining also was found in the cytoplasm, dendritic, and axonic processes (including some myelinated axons) and in synaptic boutons, as illustrated in the cerebellar cortex. The distribution of MCP in the rat CNS and its subcellular localization are discussed in relation to (1) the distribution of calpain, the other major nonlysosomal cellular protease, and (2) the possible role of MCP in the degradation of regulatory proteins and key transcription factors that are essential in many neuronal responses.


PMID: 8815912

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