By DNA cloning, we have identified the BSRP (brain-specific receptor-like proteins) family of three members in mammalian genomes. BSRPs were predominantly expressed in the soma and dendrites of neurons and localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Expression levels of BSRPs seemed to fluctuate greatly during postnatal cerebellar maturation. Triple-knockout mice lacking BSRP members exhibited motor discoordination, and Purkinje cells (PCs) were often innervated by multiple climbing fibers with different neuronal origins in the mutant cerebellum. Moreover, the phosphorylation levels of protein kinase Calpha (PKCalpha) were significantly downregulated in the mutant cerebellum. Because cerebellar maturation and plasticity require metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling and resulting PKC activation, BSRPs are likely involved in ER functions supporting PKCalpha activation in PCs.
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