Syntabulin-kinesin-1 family member 5B-mediated axonal transport contributes to activity-dependent presynaptic assembly

Qian Cai, Ping Yue Pan, Zu Hang Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


The mechanism by which microtubule-based axonal transport regulates activity-dependent presynaptic plasticity in developing neurons remains mostly unknown. Our previous studies established that syntabulin is an adaptor capable of conjoining the kinesin family member 5B (KIF5B) motor and syntaxin-1. We now report that the complex of syntaxin-1-syntabulin-KIF5B mediates axonal transport of the active zone (AZ) components essential for presynaptic assembly. Syntabulin associates with AZ precursor carriers and colocalizes and comigrates with green fluorescent protein (GFP)-Bassoon-labeled AZ transport cargos within developing axons. Knock-down of syntabulin or disruption of the syntaxin-1-syntabulin-KIF5B complex impairs the anterograde transport of GFP-Bassoon out of the soma and reduces the axonal densities of synaptic vesicle (SV) clusters and FM4-64 [N-(3-triethylammoniumpropyl)-4-( p- dibutylaminostyryl) pyridinium, dibromide] loading. Furthermore, syntabulin loss of function results in a reduction in both the amplitude of postsynaptic currents and the frequency of asynchronous quantal events, and abolishes the activity-induced recruitment of new GFP-Bassoon into the axons and subsequent coclustering with SVs. Consequently, syntabulin loss of function blocks the formation of new presynaptic boutons during activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in developing neurons. These studies establish that a kinesin motor-adaptor complex is critical for the anterograde axonal transport of AZ components, thus contributing to activity-dependent presynaptic assembly during neuronal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7284-7296
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 4 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


  • Active zone precursor
  • Axonal transport
  • Kinesin-1 motor
  • Microtubules
  • Presynaptic assembly
  • Presynaptic plasticity
  • Synaptogenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Syntabulin-kinesin-1 family member 5B-mediated axonal transport contributes to activity-dependent presynaptic assembly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this