In an attempt to characterize proteins which are enriched or specifically expressed in the locus coeruleus (LC), a region of the brain which plays a critical role in opiate dependence and withdrawal, we have screened a bovine LC cDNA library with an LC minus cerebellum subtracted cDNA probe and isolated several (38) positively hybridizing clones. DNA sequence analysis revealed that two of the clones encoded ezrin and osteonectin, proteins normally associated with cell growth and morphology in peripheral tissues. Regional northern blots from bovine brain and in situ hybridization studies in rat show that ezrin is expressed at high levels in the LC with only low levels detectable in other brain regions. Osteonectin is also abundant in the LC, but in contrast to ezrin, is expressed at high levels in the dorsal raphe and substantia niera. The results indicate that two proteins, ezrin and osteonectin, are highly enriched in the LC. This raises the possibility that these polypeptides, which play a role in the morphological response of some non-neuronal cell types to growth factors and to other intracellular signals, may also regulate these properties in noradrenergic and other selected neurons in the brain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology