Novel protein transport mechanism for axon outgrowth (July 17, 2015)

Biological Sciences 2015/07/17

Nerve cells extend long processes called axons and form complicated networks in the brain. For the extension and maintenance of axons, neurons have to deliver proteins from their cell body to the tip of axon. It is well known that the motor proteins kinesins, dyneins and myosins, which walk along cytoskeletons, play key roles in the transport of vesicle-anchored proteins and some cytoplasmic proteins. In contrast, the molecular basis for the transport of actin and actin-associated proteins along axons remains poorly understood.

The research group of Prof. Naoyuki Inagaki, Hiroko Kastuno in the Laboratory of Systems Neurobiology and Medicine, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Associate Prof. Yoichiroh Hosokawa in Graduate School of Materials Science, Prof. Kazushi Ikeda in Graduate School of Information Science in NAIST, Associate Prof. Yuichi Sakumura in Aichi Prefectural University, and Prof. Kensaku Mizuno in Tohoku University found a protein transport mechanism for actin and actin-associated proteins along axon.

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Fig.1 Actin waves transported along an axon (arrowheads).
Fig.1 Actin waves transported along an axon (arrowheads).

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