Synaptophysin, also known as major synaptic vesicle protein P38, is encoded by the SYP gene in humans and is located on the short arm of the X chromosome. Synaptophysin is located in neuroendocrine cells as well as all neurons in the CNS that participate in synaptic transmission. It is a 38 kD protein that contains four transmembrane domains. Synaptophysin is a synaptic vesicle glycoprotein, and interacts with synaptobrevin. It has been implicated in X-linked mental retardation and can be used as a specific marker for cells of the adrenal medulla and pancreatic islets. As such, it can be used to identify tumors that are derived from those cells, including neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, medulloblastoma, and others.
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