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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neurofilament transport in vivo minimally requires hetero-oligomer formation.

Neurofilament assembly requires at minimum the polymerization of neurofilament light chain (NF-L) with either neurofilament medium chain (NF-M) or neurofilament heavy chain (NF-H) subunits, but requirements for their axonal transport have long been controversial. Using a gene deletion approach, we generated mice containing only NF-L or NF-M. In vivo pulse radiolabeling analyses in retinal ganglion cell neurons revealed that NF-L alone is incapable of efficient transport, whereas nearly one-half of the normal level of NF-M is transported along optic axons in the absence of the other triplet subunits. Under these conditions, however, NF-M transport is completely abolished by deleting alpha-internexin. Our results strongly suggest that efficient neurofilament protein transport in vivo minimally requires hetero-oligomer formation. They also show that NF-M can partner with intermediate filament proteins other than the NF-H and NF-L subunits in neurons to support slow transport and possibly other functions of neuronal intermediate filaments.[1]


  1. Neurofilament transport in vivo minimally requires hetero-oligomer formation. Yuan, A., Rao, M.V., Kumar, A., Julien, J.P., Nixon, R.A. J. Neurosci. (2003) [Pubmed]
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