The Specificity of 130‐kDa Leech Sensory Afferent Proteins Is Encoded by Their Carbohydrate Epitopes

Mary Lynn Bajt, Robert N. Cole, Birgit Zipser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Abstract: From early development through adulthood in the leech, sensory afferents, glial cells, and connective tissue express different epitopes located on a group of 130‐kDa glycoproteins. The sensory epitope [reactive with monoclonal antibody (mAb) Lan3–2] is shared by the peripheral sensory afferents of different sensory modalities. In contrast, three other immunocytochemically distinct epitopes (reactive with mAbs Laz2–369, Laz7–79, and Laz6–212) differentiate these sensory afferents according to their sensory modalities. The glial epitope (mAb Laz6–297) is expressed on all macroglial processes, and the connective tissue epitope (mAb Laz9–84) is located on connective tissue surrounding the CNS. as well as in the peripheral tissues. The hydrophilic‐hydrophobic nature of the 130‐kDa sensory afferent and glial proteins was determined by phase separation with Triton X‐114 and hypoosmotic extraction. They behave as peripheral membrane proteins. Deglycosylation of 130‐kDa glycoproteins with N‐Glycanase or preincubation of their respective mAbs with α‐methylmannoside showed that the sensory epitope contains mannose, whereas the modality epitopes are of an undefined carbohydrate character. Immunoprecipitation and a peptide mapping experiment confirmed the existence of four distinct sensory afferent epitopes. Previous studies provided evidence that the mannose‐containing Lan3–2 epitope mediates normal sensory afferent growth in the synaptic neuropile. We, therefore, postulate that the carbohydrate epitopes on sensory afferent glycoproteins participate in synapse formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2117-2125
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbohydrate epitope
  • Cell type‐specific glycoproteins
  • Family of 130‐kDa glycoproteins
  • Leech
  • Mannosidic epitopes
  • Neuronal surface molecules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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