Characterization of protein kinase and phosphatase systems in chick ciliary ganglion

I. Lengyel, K. A. Nichol, A. T R Sim, M. R. Bennett, P. R. Dunkley, J. A P Rostas

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to characterize the second messenger activated protein kinase and phosphatase systems in chick ciliary ganglion using biochemical and immunochemical techniques. Using synthetic peptide substrates cyclic-AMP-, cyclic-GMP-, Ca2+/calmodulin- and Ca2+/phospholipid-dependent protein kinase activities were detected in homogenates of ciliary ganglion dissected from 15-16-day-old embryos. Autophosphorylation of the α and β subunits of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II in the presence of Ca2+/calmodulin or 5 mM ZnSO4 was detected by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. Protein kinase C was shown to be present using a monoclonal antibody. Two cyclic-AMP binding proteins whose molecular weights corresponded to the regulatory subunits of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (RI and RII) were detected in ciliary ganglia using 8-azido-cyclic-AMP. The most heavily labelled band following incubation with [γ-32P]ATP under most conditions had an apparent molecular weight of 65,000 which corresponds to the chicken form of myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate, a known substrate of protein kinase C. Another substrate for protein kinase C was a 45,000 molecular weight protein which was tentatively identified as neuromodulin (B-50/GAP-43). Although no endogenous substrate proteins for cyclic-GMP-dependent protein kinase were detected, protein kinase A strongly labelled a 40,000 molecular weight protein. Using 32Pilabelled glycogen phosphorylase, protein phosphatases 1 and 2A were identified in ciliary ganglia homogenates at levels which were indistinguishable from forebrain at the same age. The major endogenous protein substrates in ciliary ganglion homogenates from 15-16-day-old embryos were also labelled to a similar extent in homogenates of ciliary ganglia from newly hatched chickens. Intact ciliary ganglia remained viable for several hours after dissection and, after incubation with 32Pi, responded to phorbol ester stimulation by an increased endogenous phosphorylation of several proteins, but especially myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate. These results represent the first systematic characterization of the protein phosphorylation systems in chicken ciliary ganglion and provide a basis for future studies on the biochemical mechanisms responsible for regulating synaptic transmission in this tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-588
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Protein phosphorylation
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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