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Synaptic vesicles are capable of an energy autonomous mode of transport within neurons

on the October 25, 2016

Identification of a new mode of energy supply for axonal transport


The glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) facilitates fast axonal transport in neurons. However, given that GAPDH does not produce ATP, it is unclear whether glycolysis per se is sufficient to propel vesicles. Although many proteins regulating transport have been identified, the molecular composition of transported vesicles in neurons has yet to be fully elucidated.

Here we selectively enrich motile vesicles and perform quantitative proteomic analysis. In addition to the expected molecular motors and vesicular proteins, we find an enrichment of all the glycolytic enzymes. Using biochemical approaches and super-resolution microscopy, we observe that most glycolytic enzymes are selectively associated with vesicles and facilitate transport of vesicles in neurons.

Finally, we provide evidence that mouse brain vesicles produce ATP from ADP and glucose, and display movement in a reconstituted in vitro transport assay of native vesicles. We conclude that transport of vesicles along microtubules can be autonomous.

Microfluidic chambers for imaging axonal transport in neurons

Reference : 
Self-propelling vesicles define glycolysis as the minimal energy machinery for neuronal transport
María-Victoria Hinckelmann, Amandine Virlogeux, Christian Niehage, Christel Poujol, Daniel Choquet, Bernard Hoflack, Diana Zala & Frédéric Saudou
Nature Communications 7, Article number: 13233 (2016)
DOI 10.1038/ncomms13233

Updated on November 1, 2016

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