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Cloning and expression of a leech complexin

By Iain M Dykes and Jane A Davies


Release of neurotransmitter from presynaptic nerve terminals is mediated by SNARE proteins, which are located on the vesicle and plasma membranes. These proteins form a SNARE complex thought to mediate membrane fusion. Complexin is a soluble protein essential for transmitter release, which has been postulated to bind to and stabilise the SNARE complex. We have cloned a complexin homologue, Hm-cpx1, from the leech, Hirudo medicinalis. This protein is expressed in only a subset of neurons in the leech CNS, including the Retzius and P neurons. It is 33% identical to rat complexin I, and 44% identical to squid complexin. Sequence conservation is particularly high in the predicted SNARE binding domain

Year: 2004
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