|Monoclonal antibodies distinguish several differentially phosphorylated states of the two largest rat neurofilament subunits (NF-H and NF-M) and demonstrate their existence in the normal nervous system of adult rats.|
Lee, V M, et al.
J. Neurosci., 7: 3474-88 (1987)
A new panel of greater than 300 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) was prepared to the high, middle, and low Mr rat neurofilament (NF) subunits (NF-H, NF-M and NF-L, respectively). NF proteins were purified both from native, i.e., phosphorylated rat NFs and from enzymatically dephosphorylated rat NFs. The resulting mAbs were used to biochemically and immunochemically distinguish and characterize distinct and differentially phosphorylated isoforms of NF subunits. By immunoblot, all mAbs specific for NF-L and some mAbs specific for NF-M detected their specific NF subunit regardless of whether or not the NFs had been treated with alkaline phosphatase, and such antibodies were termed "phosphate-independent" or P[ind] mAbs. The other mAbs were specific for NF-M, NF-H, or for both NF-M and NF-H, and they recognized epitopes in the COOH termini of these subunits. Significantly, the latter mAbs could discriminate different isoforms of NF-M and NF-H, depending on the phosphorylation state of each variant. Such mAbs were assigned to one of 4 distinct categories on the basis of their performance in immunoblots of progressively dephosphorylated rat NF samples and by immunohistochemistry of various adult rat nervous tissues: (1) P[-] mAbs preferentially stained neuronal perikarya and dendrites, and they recognized only extensively dephosphorylated (and nonphosphorylated) NF-H; (2) P[+] mAbs stained axons more strongly than perikarya, and primarily blotted phosphorylated, but not nonphosphorylated, forms of NF-H and NF-M; (3) P[++] mAbs stained axons almost to the exclusion of perikarya, and in blots recognized only the extensively phosphorylated forms of NF-H and NF-M (i.e., subunits subjected to limited enzymatic dephosphorylation); (4) P[ ] mAbs also predominantly stained axons, but the briefest alkaline phosphatase treatment abolished the NF-M and NF-H immunobands produced by these mAbs. Two-dimensional gel analysis and immunoblotting of total proteins from adult rat dorsal root ganglion verified mAb specificity in situ, and showed that differentially phosphorylated isoforms of NF-M and NF-H occur in vivo. This provided additional evidence that mAbs can detect all 4 phosphorylation-dependent endogenous isoelectric variants of NF-H and NF-M.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)