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Visinin-like protein 1 (VSNL1) is a small Calcium binding protein which is very abundant in the nervous system and is found only in neurons, though different neurons have different levels of expression (4, 5). It is particularly concentrated in cerebellar Purkinje cells, and tends to be most abundant in perikarya and dendrites. The protein was discovered independently by several groups and is therefore also sometimes known as hippocalcin-like protein 3, HLP3, HPCAL3, HUVISL1, VLP-1, VILIP and VILIP-1. The protein belongs to the large superfamly of calmodulin and paravalbumin type proteins which function by binding Calcium ions. Calcium binding alters the confomation of these proteins and allow them to interact with other binding partners, the properties of which they may alter. Visinin-like protein 1 has four "EF hand" domains, which are negatively charged helix-turn-helix peptides which are responsible for Calcium binding. Visinin-like protein 1 is 191 amino acids in size and has a molecular weight on SDS-PAGE of 22kDa.
Image: Confocal image of adult rat cerebellar cortex stained with VSNL1 (green) and chicken polyclonal antibody to MAP2 (red) and DNA (blue). VSNL1 antibody reveals synapses in the molecular layer (ML) strongly. Synaptic regions are also seen in the granule cell layer (GC). The perikarya of Purkinje cells (PC) are revealed with the MAP2 antibody (4). Little staining is seen in the white matter (WM). Protocol on Datasheet
The protein has recently been suggested to be a useful biomarker of Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injury.
Image: Western blot of bovine cerebellum homogenate stained with VSNL1. Note the strong clean band running at 22kDa. Protocol on Data-sheet.