Role of the growth-associated protein B-50/GAP-43 in neuronal plasticity

Mol Neurobiol. 1991;5(2-4):61-85. doi: 10.1007/BF02935540.


The neuronal phosphoprotein B-50/GAP-43 has been implicated in neuritogenesis during developmental stages of the nervous system and in regenerative processes and neuronal plasticity in the adult. The protein appears to be a member of a family of acidic substrates of protein kinase C (PKC) that bind calmodulin at low calcium concentrations. Two of these substrates, B-50 and neurogranin, share the primary sequence coding for the phospho- and calmodulin-binding sites and might exert similar functions in axonal and dendritic processes, respectively. In the adult brain, B-50 is exclusively located at the presynaptic membrane. During neuritogenesis in cell culture, the protein is translocated to the growth cones, i.e., into the filopodia. In view of many positive correlations between B-50 expression and neurite outgrowth and the specific localization of B-50, a role in growth cone function has been proposed. Its phosphorylation state may regulate the local intracellular free calmodulin and calcium concentrations or vice versa. Both views link the B-50 protein to processes of signal transduction and transmitter release.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calmodulin / metabolism
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • GAP-43 Protein
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • PC12 Cells / metabolism
  • PC12 Cells / ultrastructure
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Rats
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Signal Transduction


  • Calmodulin
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • GAP-43 Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins