Recent studies have shown that the transport of microtubules (MTs) and neurofilaments (NFs) within the axon is rapid, infrequent, asynchronous, and bidirectional. Here, we used RNA interference to investigate the role of cytoplasmic dynein in powering these transport events. To reveal transport of MTs and NFs, we expressed EGFP-tagged tubulin or NF proteins in cultured rat sympathetic neurons and performed live-cell imaging of the fluorescent cytoskeletal elements in photobleached regions of the axon. The occurrence of anterograde MT and retrograde NF movements was significantly diminished in neurons that had been depleted of dynein heavy chain, whereas the occurrence of retrograde MT and anterograde NF movements was unaffected. These results support a cargo model for NF transport and a sliding filament model for MT transport.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology