Cargo crowding at actin-rich regions along axons causes local traffic jams.
|Cargo crowding at actin-rich regions along axons causes local traffic jams.
|Year of Publication
|Sood P, Murthy K, Kumar V, Nonet ML, Menon GI, Koushika SP
Steady axonal cargo flow is central to the functioning of healthy neurons. However, a substantial fraction of cargo in axons remains stationary up to several minutes. We examine the transport of precursors of synaptic vesicles (pre-SVs), endosomes and mitochondria in Caenorhabditis elegans touch receptor neurons, showing that stationary cargo are predominantly present at actin-rich regions along the neuronal process. Stationary vesicles at actin-rich regions increase the propensity of moving vesicles to stall at the same location, resulting in traffic jams arising from physical crowding. Such local traffic jams at actin-rich regions are likely to be a general feature of axonal transport since they also occur in Drosophila neurons. Repeated touch stimulation of C. elegans reduces the density of stationary pre-SVs, indicating that these traffic jams can act as both sources and sinks of vesicles. This suggests that vesicles trapped in actin-rich regions are functional reservoirs that may contribute to maintaining robust cargo flow in the neuron. A video abstract of this article can be found at: Video S1; Video S2.