In the adult rat brain, MAP 2 is a high-molecular weight protein that is highly concentrated in dendrites. Immunoblots of homogenates of developing rat brain have indicated that a low-molecular weight form of MAP 2, MAP 2 c, is transiently expressed as the brain is undergoing morphogenesis. Using MAP 2-specific monoclonal antibodies, we have demonstrated that the compartmentalization of high-molecular weight MAP 2 and the developmental regulation of MAP 2 are conserved in mammalian, avian, and amphibian brain. We have also determined the distribution of MAP 2 c in developing neuronal tissue. MAP 2 c appears before high-molecular weight MAP 2 in developing neurons, and in contrast to the dendrite-specific high-molecular weight forms of MAP 2, MAP 2 c is present in axons and glia. We have also shown that MAP 2 c is present in the adult rat retina, where it is concentrated in regenerative photosensitive cells. The transient expression of MAP 2 c in the developing brain of three species as well as in adult photosensitive cells suggests a role for this protein in neurite growth and plasticity.
- Microtubule-associated proteins
- Xenopus laevis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Plant Science