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Neuron. 1997 Mar;18(3):439-51.

Characterization of KIFC2, a neuronal kinesin superfamily member in mouse.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0683, USA.


Members of the kinesin superfamily of microtubule-associated proteins are involved in a variety of intracellular processes including cell division and organelle transport. In the case of axonal transport, all kinesin superfamily members reported thus far appear to play a role in anterograde transport, while a different type of microtubule motor, dynein, appears to function in retrograde transport. To better understand the role of kinesins in axonal transport, we cloned and characterized KIFC2, a novel kinesin superfamily member from mouse brain. KIFC2 encodes a 792 amino acid protein, which contains the conserved motor domain at the C-terminal end of the protein and is most similar to members of the KAR3 family involved in cell division. However, expression analysis localized KIFC2 mRNA to nonproliferative neuronal cells in the central nervous system, and immunolocalization studies demonstrated that KIFC2 is present in axons and dendrites of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Immunolocalization and biochemical fractionation studies suggest that KIFC2 localizes with some, but not all, axonally transported organelles. Finally, ligation of mouse peripheral nerves showed that KIFC2 accumulates at the proximal and distal sides of an axonal ligature. Taken together, the data suggest that, unlike other C-terminal motor proteins that appear to be involved in cell division, KIFC2 may play a role in retrograde axonal transport.

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