In a previous study (H. Shirataki, K. Kaibuchi, T. Yamaguchi, K. Wada, H. Horiuchi, and Y. Takai, J. Biol. Chem. 267:10946-10949, 1992), we highly purified from bovine brain crude membranes the putative target protein for smg p25A/rab3A p25, a ras p21-related small GTP-binding protein implicated in neurotransmitter release. In this study, we have isolated and sequenced the cDNA of this protein from a bovine brain cDNA library. The cDNA had an open reading frame encoding a protein of 704 amino acids with a calculated M(r) of 77,976. We tentatively refer to this protein as rabphilin-3A. Structural analysis of rabphilin-3A revealed the existence of two copies of an internal repeat that were homologous to the C2 domain of protein kinase C as described for synaptotagmin, which is known to be localized in the membrane of the synaptic vesicle and to bind to membrane phospholipid in a Ca2+- dependent manner. The isolated cDNA was expressed in COS7 cells, and the encoded protein was recognized with an anti-rabphilin-3A polyclonal antibody and was identical in size with rabphilin-3A purified from bovine brain by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Moreover, both rabphilin-3A purified from bovine brain and recombinant rabphilin-3A made a complex with the GTPγS-bound form of rab3A p25 but not with the GDP-bound form of rab3A p25. Immunoblot and Northern (RNA) blot analyses showed that rabphilin-3A was highly expressed in bovine and rat brains. These results indicate that rabphilin-3A is a novel protein that has C2 domains and selectively interacts with the GTP-bound form of rab3A p25.
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