Examination of a nerve injury-induced, 37 kDa protein: purification and characterization.
Following traumatic injury to the adult rat sciatic nerve the synthesis and accumulation of soluble, extra-cellular, 37 kDa protein is increased. This protein, which accumulates in the extracellular space of the injured nerve, accounts for nearly 5% of the total soluble pool of protein in an injured nerve 3 weeks after injury. 8 weeks after injury, when regeneration is nearly complete, this accumulated pool returns to control levels, yet if regeneration is blocked synthesis of the 37 kDa protein remains high. Recently this 37 kDa protein has been shown to be nearly identical to apolipoprotein E, the protein component of various lipoprotein particles. This finding suggests a role for the 37 kDa protein in cholesterol and lipid transport and metabolism during nerve repair within the nervous system, functions that have been ascribed to apo E in serum. Results are presented here describing the purification of the nerve injury induced 37 kDa protein and the subsequent production of specific rabbit antisera directed against it. By centrifugation analysis in a sucrose gradient, a native mass of 37 kDa was determined, revealing the 37 kDa protein's monomeric, native structure. Additionally injections of [35S]methionine directly into the injured nerve allowed 1) a comparison of 37 kDa synthesis in vivo versus in vitro and 2) an examination of the presence or absence of retrogradely transported 37 kDa protein. The in vitro and in vivo collected material were found to share identical 2-dimensional electrophoretic mobilities, and no appreciable amount of transported 37 kDa protein was found in proximal regions of the injured nerve.
Ignatius, MJ; Skene, JH; Muller, HW; Shooter, EM
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