18 nov"FAT and happy: Fast axonal transport in healthy and diseased neurons"18 nov 2011
Michael Silverman, Associate Professor Department of Biological Sciences Simon Fraser University Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, is invited by Francois Darchen.
Transport of membrane-bound organelles is essential for neuronal function and survival. A critical cellular cargo, called dense-core vesicles (DCVs), are responsible for the transport and secretion of a large group of neuropeptides, e.g. brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), that are required for development, learning, memory, and neuronal survival.
These molecules are packaged into DCVs in the Golgi apparatus then delivered to distal release sites via microtubule-based transport. Importantly, disruption of neuronal transport, including DCV transport, is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Despite the importance of DCVs in neuronal function, little is known about the mechanisms mediating their transport. The focus of my lab is to characterize DCV transport and identify the motor proteins required for their transport to distal sites of release.
Additionally, recent work is geared towards understanding how soluble amyloid beta oligomers implicated in Alzheimer’s disease disrupt fast axonal transport. To address these questions we employ live-cell imaging to directly observe organelle transport in primary cultured hippocampal neurons.
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