RC3/Neurogranin is a postnatal-onset, forebrain-specific, thyroid hormone-regulated, protein kinase C (PKC) substrate that binds calmodulin (CaM) and accumulates in dendritic spines. We bacterially expressed and purified RC3 and, for comparison, GAP-43/neuromodulin to near homogeneity using relatively simple procedures. We then raised antisera against recombinant RC3 that does not crossreact with GAP-43 and is suitable for immunohistochemical analysis of brain slices. We also constructed over 30 RC3 sequence variants by PCR-mediated, site-directed mutagenesis, and purified four of these to near homogeneity. The elution profiles displayed by RC3 and sequence variants during purification on CaM-Sepharose columns suggest that two different affinity forms of the RC3.CaM complex coexist when Ca2+ is absent and that GAP-43.CaM interactions are far more sensitive to salt than those that occur between recombinant RC3 and CaM. Variant proteins in which serine 36 was changed failed to serve as a substrate for PKC, implicating this as the target residue.