We report here the results of immunocytochemical and biochemical studies on the localization of synapsin I, a nerve terminal-specific phosphoprotein, at the frog neuromuscular junction. Our results show that in this in situ synapse synapsin I is concentrated in the presynaptic compartment, where it appears to be associated with the synaptic vesicle membrane. Double immunoprecipitated synapsin I from homogenates of frog cutaneous pectoris muscles could be phosphorylated by the catalytic subunit of cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate-dependent protein kinase after gel electrophoresis and blotting onto nitrocellulose and could be subsequently identified by an immunoperoxidase technique. Experiments carried out in frog brain preparations indicate that frog synapsin I, like the mammalian protein, can be phosphorylated at different sites by exogenously added catalytic subunit of cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate-dependent protein kinase and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II prepared from mammalian sources. The phosphorylation sites of frog synapsin I, as judged by phosphopeptide mapping, are somewhat different from those of mammalian synapsin I. The study of synapsin I and of the regulation of its state of phosphorylation at the neuromuscular junction may provide important information on its role in synaptic function, since at the present time this is one of the few systems in which a correlation among biochemical, immunocytochemical and electrophysiological results is possible.
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