Different axoplasmic proteins generate movement in opposite directions along microtubules in vitro

Ronald D. Vale, Bruce J. Schnapp, Tim Mitchison, Eric Steuer, Thomas S. Reese, Michael P. Sheetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

345 Scopus citations


Single microtubules from squid axoplasm support bidirectional movement of organelles. We previously purified a microtubule translocator (kinesin) that moves latex beads in only one direction along microtubules. In this study, a polar array of microtubules assembled off of centrosomes in vitro was used to demonstrate that kinesin moves latex beads from the minus to the plus ends of microtubules, a direction that corresponds to anterograde transport in the axon. A crude solubilized fraction from squid axoplasm (S1a), however, generates bidirectional movement of beads along microtubules. Retrograde bead movement (1.4 μm/sec) is inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide and 20 μM vanadate while anterograde movement (0.6 μm/sec) is unaffected by these agents. Furthermore, a monoclonal antibody against kinesin, when coupled to Sepharose, removes the anterograde, but not the retrograde, bead translocator from S1a. These results indicate that there is a retrograde bead translocator which is pharmacologically and immunologically distinct from kinesin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-632
Number of pages10
Issue number3 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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