Combined kinesin-1 and kinesin-3 activity drives axonal trafficking of TrkB receptors in Rab6 carriers

Eitan Erez Zahavi, Jessica J.A. Hummel, Yuhao Han, Citlali Bar, Riccardo Stucchi, Maarten Altelaar, Casper C. Hoogenraad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Neurons depend on proper localization of neurotrophic receptors in their distal processes for their function. The Trk family of neurotrophin receptors controls neuronal survival, differentiation, and remodeling and are well known to function as retrograde signal carriers transported from the distal axon toward the cell body. However, the mechanism driving anterograde trafficking of Trk receptors into the axon is not well established. We used microfluidic compartmental devices and inducible secretion assay to systematically investigate the retrograde and anterograde trafficking routes of TrkB receptor along the axon in rat hippocampal neurons. We show that newly synthesized TrkB receptors traffic through the secretory pathway and are directly delivered into axon. We found that these TrkB carriers associate and are regulated by Rab6. Furthermore, the combined activity of kinesin-1 and kinesin-3 is needed for the formation of axon-bound TrkB secretory carriers and their effective entry and processive anterograde transport beyond the proximal axon. Neurons distribute signaling receptors to distal axons to receive extracellular information. Focusing on the neurotrophic receptor TrkB, Zahavi et al. elucidate an intracellular trafficking pathway that enables neurons to drive TrkB from its site of synthesis at the cell body, via secretory transport carriers, into the distal axon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-508.E7
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2021


  • anterograde transport
  • axon transport
  • kinesin-1
  • kinesin-3
  • Rab6
  • RUSH
  • secretory trafficking
  • TrkB


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