In this grant, we propose to understand role of kinesins in axonal transport and synapse formation. Because of the extraordinary length of axons, synaptic vesicles and active zone proteins need to be transported over long distance on microtubules to reach the distal axon where synapses form. Our previous work showed that the entry and exit of synaptic cargoes into and from the kinesin transport system are important regulatory steps for control the location of synaptogenesis and the size of synapses. Here, we use genetic, biochemical, biophysical and cell biological method to directly understand how UNC-104/KIF1A is regulated in vivo to achieve specific loading and unloading of synaptic cargoes. We will also study how force generation of kinesins impacts the transport system by perturbing force generation and studying the consequence of such perturbations. We will also study how the distinct functions of two kinesins in trafficking synaptic cargoes. Through these experiments, we hope to provide mechanistic understandings of how the KIF1A family of kinesin motors is controlled in vivo. We also hope to provide insights in the biological meaning of regulated force generation. Since axonal transport defects has been recognized as early pathological progression of neurodegenerative diseases, these molecular understandings can potential lead to therapeutic innovations.

Public Health Relevance

Axonal transport is critical to the health of neurons. Mutations in the kinesin-3 family motors were found in hereditary neuropathy such as hereditary spastic paraparesis. There is also a body of evidence that defects in axonal transport in aging neurons cause trafficking jams, which are early signs of neurodegenerative disease state. In this grant, we aim to understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate kinesin activity in vivo. The knowledge about how motor proteins are regulated will potentially lead to therapeutic strategies against neurodegenerative diseases.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Type
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
Project #
5R37NS048392-14
Application #
9415082
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Talley, Edmund M
Project Start
2004-12-07
Project End
2019-01-31
Budget Start
2018-02-01
Budget End
2019-01-31
Support Year
14
Fiscal Year
2018
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Stanford University
Department
Biology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
009214214
City
Stanford
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94304
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Krieg, Michael; Stühmer, Jan; Cueva, Juan G et al. (2017) Genetic defects in ?-spectrin and tau sensitize C. elegans axons to movement-induced damage via torque-tension coupling. Elife 6:
He, Jiang; Zhou, Ruobo; Wu, Zhuhao et al. (2016) Prevalent presence of periodic actin-spectrin-based membrane skeleton in a broad range of neuronal cell types and animal species. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:6029-34
Li, Pengpeng; Merrill, Sean A; Jorgensen, Erik M et al. (2016) Two Clathrin Adaptor Protein Complexes Instruct Axon-Dendrite Polarity. Neuron 90:564-80
Yogev, Shaul; Cooper, Roshni; Fetter, Richard et al. (2016) Microtubule Organization Determines Axonal Transport Dynamics. Neuron 92:449-460
Niwa, Shinsuke; Lipton, David M; Morikawa, Manatsu et al. (2016) Autoinhibition of a Neuronal Kinesin UNC-104/KIF1A Regulates the Size and Density of Synapses. Cell Rep 16:2129-2141
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