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Neuron. 2001 Dec 6;32(5):787-800.

UNC-16, a JNK-signaling scaffold protein, regulates vesicle transport in C. elegans.

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Department of MCD Biology, Sinsheimer Laboratories, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA.


Transport of synaptic components is a regulated process. Loss-of-function mutations in the C. elegans unc-16 gene result in the mislocalization of synaptic vesicle and glutamate receptor markers. unc-16 encodes a homolog of mouse JSAP1/JIP3 and Drosophila Sunday Driver. Like JSAP1/JIP3, UNC-16 physically interacts with JNK and JNK kinases. Deletion mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans JNK and JNK kinases result in similar mislocalization of synaptic vesicle markers and enhance weak unc-16 mutant phenotypes. unc-116 kinesin heavy chain mutants also mislocalize synaptic vesicle markers, as well as a functional UNC-16::GFP. Intriguingly, unc-16 mutations partially suppress the vesicle retention defect in unc-104 KIF1A kinesin mutants. Our results suggest that UNC-16 may regulate the localization of vesicular cargo by integrating JNK signaling and kinesin-1 transport.

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