The developmental expression and the cellular localization of neurogranin (formerly designated p17), a brain-specific protein kinase C (PKC) substrate, were investigated. The developmental expression of neurogranin was studied by immunoblotting of rat brain and neuronal cell-culture extracts using neurogranin polyclonal antibodies. Neurogranin synthesis was found to be developmentally regulated, with no expression in the embryonic and neonatal period and an abrupt increase between 2 and 3 weeks of age. By immunohistochemistry, neurogranin was found essentially in the adult rat telencephalon, specifically located in the cell bodies and dendritic processes of neurons of the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, striatum, and a few other discreet areas. Neurogranin immunoreactivity was nearly absent in the thalamus, cerebellum, and brain stem. The late developmental expression and the dendritic localization of neurogranin in neurons are 2 features that also characterize the type I PKC isozyme. The specific localization of the protein in integrative areas of the rat brain suggests a highly specialized function of neurogranin in the CNS. A possible role for neurogranin in the transduction of the PKC activation signals at the postsynaptic level is suggested.