The smooth endoplasmic reticulum (S-ER) is transported on actin filaments in the giant axon of the squid. The identity of the myosin motors that transport S-ER in the squid giant axon has been determined. Our recent studies have shown that the motor for movement of S-ER vesicles on actin filaments is Myosin-V (1). These findings grew out of a series of studies that began with the initial observation that vesicles in the giant axon of the squid move on both microtubules and actin filaments (2). These initial studies documented the ability of individual vesicles to move from microtubules to actin filaments and led to the development of the dual filament model of vesicle transport (3, 4). The model proposes that long- range movement of vesicles occurs on microtubules and short-range movement on actin filaments. S-ER vesicles were identified as the major population of vesicles in the axon that use myosin-V for movement on actin filaments. The S-ER is the primary site of calcium storage, and it regulates the local cytosolic calcium concentration. Calcium release from the S-ER in neurons couples electrical excitation to signal transduction cascades. The signaling cascades triggered by the release of calcium from S-ER in dendritic spines are postulated to initiate the cellular mechanisms that lead to learning and memory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology