In adult rat cerebellum, HPC-1/syntaxin 1 is detected at high density on the plasma membrane of the non-synaptic region of parallel fibers in addition to the synaptic terminal membranes and the synaptic vesicles (Koh, S., Yamamoto, A., Inoue, A., Inoue, Y., Akagawa, Y., Kawamura, Y., Kawamoto, Y., and Tashiro, Y. (1993). J. Neurocytology 22: 995-1005). To assess the possibility that HPC-1/syntaxin 1 participates in the morphogenesis of the nervous system, we examined changes in the localization of HPC-1/syntaxin 1 during postnatal development of the molecular layer of the rat cerebellum. HPC-1/syntaxin 1 appeared in the granule cells in the outer granule cell layer in 3-days-old rat cerebellum when the formation of synapses and the appearance of a synaptic vesicle protein, synaptophysin, had not yet been observed in the molecular layer. At this stage, the granule cells began to form parallel fibers. Confocal laser microscopy and immuno-electron microscopy showed that HPC-1/syntaxin 1 was localized on the extruding plasma membrane of the granule cells to form parallel fibers. In 8-days-old rats, synapses formed between the parallel fibers and the developing dendrites of Purkinje cells, and the HPC-1 immunoreactivity appeared on the axons of parallel fibers and on the synapses. In 21-days-old rats, the HPC-1/syntaxin is involved in the formation of the molecular layer, especially in the axonal growth of the parallel fibers.