Kalirin, a homologue of trio and UNC-73, has been previously demonstrated to cause cytoskeletal rearrangements, enhanced outgrowth of neuritic processes, and altered secretion. In the adult rat, kalirin is specifically localized to the central nervous system, with the main adult isoform, kalirin-7, concentrated in neuronal postsynaptic densities. In this study we examined the expression of kalirin in rat tissue from embryonic Day 10 (E10) through E18, using an antibody that detects all known kalirin isoforms. Kalirin expression in the embryo was more widespread than in the adult, with localization of kalirin protein to both neuronal and non-neuronal tissue, such as muscle, lung, intestinal epithelium, and pancreas. In neurons, kalirin was localized both in cell bodies and axon processes; in muscle tissue, kalirin was highly localized to migrating myogenic cells and at muscle attachment sites. Western blotting analysis indicated that kalirin-7, the major adult isoform, was a minor component of embryonic kalirin; the main isoform expressed in the embryo was kalirin-9. This is the first identification of kalirin expression in embryonic tissue and the first demonstration of non-neuronal expression of kalirin.
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