Post-Translational Processing of Synaptophysin in the Rat Retina Is Disrupted by Diabetes

Travis S. D'Cruz, Brittany N. Weibley, Scot R. Kimball, Alistair J. Barber

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27 Scopus citations


Synaptophysin, is an abundant presynaptic protein involved in synaptic vesicle recycling and neurotransmitter release. Previous work shows that its content is significantly reduced in the rat retina by streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetes. This study tested the hypothesis that STZ-diabetes alters synaptophysin protein turnover and glycosylation in the rat retina. Whole explant retinas from male Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this study. Rats were made diabetic by a single intraperitoneal STZ injection (65 mg/kg body weight in 10 mM sodium citrate, pH 4.5). mRNA translation was measured using a 35S-methionine labeling assay followed by synaptophysin immunoprecipitation and autoradiography. A pulse-chase study was used to determine the depletion of newly synthesized synaptophysin. Depletion of total synaptophysin was determined after treatment with cycloheximide. Mannose rich N-glycosylated synaptophysin was detected by treating retinal lysates with endoglycosidase H followed by immunoblot analysis. Synaptophysin mRNA translation was significantly increased after 1 month (p<0.001) and 2 months (p<0.05) of STZ-diabetes, compared to age-matched controls. Newly synthesized synaptophysin degradation was significantly accelerated in the retina after 1 and 2 months of diabetes compared to controls (p<0.05). Mannose rich glycosylated synaptophysin was significantly increased after 1 month of STZ-diabetes compared to controls (p<0.05).These data suggest that diabetes increases mRNA translation of synaptophysin in the retina, resulting in an accumulation of mannose rich glycosylated synaptophysin, a transient post-translational state of the protein. This diabetes-induced irregularity in post-translational processing could explain the accelerated degradation of retinal synaptophysin in diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere44711
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 6 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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