, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 941-950

Immunocytochemical Localization of Synaptic Proteins at Vesicular Organelles in PC12 Cells

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The distribution of the three synaptic vesicle proteins SV2, synaptophysin and synaptotagmin, and of SNAP-25, a component of the docking and fusion complex, was investigated in PC12 cells by immunocytochemistry. Colloidal gold particle-bound secondary antibodies and a preembedding protocol were applied. Granules were labeled for SV2 and synaptotagmin but not for synaptophysin. Electron-lucent vesicles were labeled most intensively for synaptophysin but also for SV2 and to a lesser extent for synaptotagmin. The t-SNARE SNAP-25 was found at the plasma membrane but also at the surface of granules. Labeling of Golgi vesicles was observed for all antigens investigated. Also components of the endosomal pathway such as multivesicular bodies and multilamellar bodies were occasionally marked. The results suggest that the three membrane-integral synaptic vesicle proteins can have a differential distribution between electron-lucent vesicles (of which PC12 cells may possess more than one type) and granules. The membrane compartment of granules appears not to be an immediate precursor of that of electron-lucent vesicles.