Identification of the major multiphosphorylation site in mammalian neurofilaments

V. M.Y. Lee, L. Otvos, M. J. Carden, M. Hollosi, B. Dietschold, R. A. Lazzarini

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341 Citations (Scopus)


The sequence Lys-Ser-Pro-Val-Pro-Lys-Ser-Pro-Val-Glu-Glu-Lys-Gly repeats six times serially in the human midsized neurofilament (NF) protein (NF-M). To establish whether Lys-Ser-Pro-Val(Ala) is the major site for in vivo NF phosphorylation, peptides based on the human NF-M repeat were synthesized and chemically phosphorylated. These synthetic peptides were probed with 515 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that were raised to, and distinguished, several differentially phosphorylated forms of NF proteins. Studies with 95 of those mAbs that recognized the peptides before and after chemical phosphorylation demonstrated that a highly immunogenic epitope shared by the peptides is present in NFs from all species tested, including invertebrates. This suggests the phylogenetic conservation of a major NF phosphorylation site. Lastly, a cross-reactive antigenic determinant shared by the peptides and the major NF phosphorylation site was shown to exist in neurofibrillary tangles of patients with Alzheimer disease as well as in two neuron-specific microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs)-i.e., MAP2 and tau.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1998-2002
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1988


  • microtubule-associated protein
  • neurofibrillary tangles
  • phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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