Identification of a peptide specific for Aplysia sensory neurons by PCR-based differential screening

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Science  10 May 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5007, pp. 856-859
DOI: 10.1126/science.1840700


In order to identify genes specific for the sensory neurons of Aplysia, a miniaturized differential screening method based on the polymerase chain reaction and applicable to small amounts of tissue was used. One messenger RNA was isolated that is expressed in every mechanoreceptor sensory cluster of the Aplysia central nervous system. This messenger RNA encodes a peptide that seems to function as an inhibitory cotransmitter. The peptide selectively inhibits certain postsynaptic cells but not others and thereby allows the sensory neurons to achieve target-specific synaptic actions.

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