Electrophoretic analysis of axonally transported proteins in toad retinal ganglion cells.
As a preliminary step to studying changes in axonal transport in regenerating neurons, we have analyzed the composition and organization of polypeptides normally axonally transported in a neuronal system capable of regeneration, i.e., the retinal ganglion cells of the toad, Bufo marinus. We labeled proteins synthesized in the retina with 35S-methionine and subsequently used one-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to analyze labeled, transported proteins in tissues containing segments of the axons (the optic nerve, optic tract, and optic tecta) of the retinal ganglion cells. The transported polypeptides could be divided into five groups according to their apparent transport velocities. Many of the polypeptides of each group were electrophoretically similar to polypeptides of corresponding groups previously described in rabbit and guinea pig retinal ganglion cells, and in some cases, additional properties of the polypeptides indicated that the transported materials of the two vertebrate classes were homologous. These results serve two purposes. First they establish the retinal ganglion cells of the toad Bufo marinus as a model system in which changes in gene expression related to regeneration may be studied. Second they show that the organization and many aspects of the composition of axonal transport in retinal ganglion cells have been conserved in animals as unrelated as amphibians, and mammals.
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