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Cellular and subcellular localization of the neuron-specific plasma membrane calcium ATPase PMCA1a in the rat brain

Authors

  • Katharine A. Kenyon,

    1. Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
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  • Eric A. Bushong,

    1. National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research, Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093
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  • Amy S. Mauer,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905
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  • Emanuel E. Strehler,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905
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  • Richard J. Weinberg,

    1. Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
    2. Neuroscience Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
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  • Alain C. Burette

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
    • Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of North Carolina, CB# 7090, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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Abstract

Regulation of intracellular calcium is crucial both for proper neuronal function and survival. By coupling ATP hydrolysis with Ca2+ extrusion from the cell, the plasma membrane calcium-dependent ATPases (PMCAs) play an essential role in controlling intracellular calcium levels in neurons. In contrast to PMCA2 and PMCA3, which are expressed in significant levels only in the brain and a few other tissues, PMCA1 is ubiquitously distributed, and is thus widely believed to play a “housekeeping” function in mammalian cells. Whereas the PMCA1b splice variant is predominant in most tissues, an alternative variant, PMCA1a, is the major form of PMCA1 in the adult brain. Here, we use immunohistochemistry to analyze the cellular and subcellular distribution of PMCA1a in the brain. We show that PMCA1a is not ubiquitously expressed, but rather is confined to neurons, where it concentrates in the plasma membrane of somata, dendrites, and spines. Thus, rather than serving a general housekeeping function, our data suggest that PMCA1a is a calcium pump specialized for neurons, where it may contribute to the modulation of somatic and dendritic Ca2+ transients. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:3169–3183, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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