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Previous studies have shown that activators of protein kinase C (C kinase) produce synaptic potentiation in the hippocampus. For example, the C kinase activator phorbol dibutyrate has been shown to increase transmitter release in the hippocampus. In addition, a role for C kinase in long-term potentiation has been proposed. A common assumption in such studies has been that substrates for C kinase were responsible for producing these forms of synaptic potentiation. However, we have recently shown that phorbol dibutyrate increased the phosphorylated of synapsin II (formerly protein III, Browning et al., 1987) in chromaffin cells (Haycock et al., 1988). Synapsin II is a synaptic vesicle-associated phosphoprotein that is a very poor substrate for C kinase but an excellent substrate for cAMP-dependent and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase. We felt, therefore, that activation of C kinase might lead to activation of a kinase cascade. Thus effects of C kinase activation might be produced via the phosphorylation of proteins that are not substrates for C kinase. In this report we test the hypothesis that activators of C kinase increase the phosphorylation of synapsin II and an homologous protein synapsin I. Our data indicate that PdBu produced dose-dependent increases in the phosphorylation of synapsin I and synapsin II. We also performed phospho-site analysis of synapsin I using limited proteolysis. These studies indicated that PdBu increased the phosphorylation of multiple sites on synapsin I. These sites have previously been shown to be phosphorylated by both cAMP-dependent protein kinase and the multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





62 - 70


Animals, Autoradiography, Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Enzyme Activation, Hippocampus, In Vitro Techniques, Kinetics, Molecular Weight, Peptide Mapping, Phorbol 12,13-Dibutyrate, Phosphates, Phosphopeptides, Phosphoproteins, Phosphorus Radioisotopes, Phosphorylation, Protein Kinase C, Protein Kinases, Rats, Synapsins