Fast transport of neurofilament protein along microtubules in squid axoplasm

V. Prahlad, B. T. Helfand, G. M. Langford, R. D. Vale, R. D. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Using squid axoplasm as a model system, we have visualized the fast transport of non-filamentous neurofilament protein particles along axonal microtubules. This transport occurs at speeds of 0.5-1.0 μm/second and the majority of neurofilament particles stain with kinesin antibody. These observations demonstrate, for the first time, that fast (0.5-1.0 μm/second) transport of neurofilament proteins occurs along microtubules. In addition, our studies suggest that neurofilament protein can be transported as non-membrane bound, nonfilamentous subunits along axons, and that the transport is kinesin-dependent. Microtubule-based fast transport might therefore provide a mechanism for the distribution and turnover of neurofilament, and perhaps other cytoskeletal proteins, throughout neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3939-3946
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Axonal transport
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Intermediate filament
  • Kinesin
  • Microtubule
  • Neurofilament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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