Protein modification by amino acid addition is increased in crushed sciatic but not optic nerves

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Science  07 Feb 1986:
Vol. 231, Issue 4738, pp. 603-605
DOI: 10.1126/science.3080804


Rat optic and sciatic nerves were crushed, and 10 minutes to 3 days later nerve segments between the crushed site and the cell body were removed and assayed for posttranslational protein modification by amino acid addition. Protein modification was comparable in intact optic and sciatic nerves, but in sciatic nerves increased to 1.6 times control levels 10 minutes after crushing and reached a maximum of ten times control levels by 2 hours. In optic nerves activity was decreased throughout the time course studied. The results indicate that, in a nerve which is capable of regeneration (sciatic), protein modification by the addition of amino acids increases immediately after injury, but a nerve incapable of regeneration (optic) is incapable of activating the modification reaction. These findings may be important in understanding the reasons for the lack of a regenerative response after injury to central mammalian nerves.