Nov 5, 1989

Low molecular weight GTP-binding proteins are associated with neuronal organelles involved in rapid axonal transport and exocytosis

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
D F BielinskiR E Fine


Recent evidence suggests that low molecular weight GTP-binding proteins may play important roles in a variety of membrane transport processes. In order to address the question of whether these proteins are involved in transport processes in the nerve axon, we have assessed their presence in rapid transport membranes from rabbit optic nerve. We report the characterization of a group of low molecular weight GTP-binding proteins which are constituents of rapid transport vesicles. Although these proteins are components of rapid transport vesicles, they are apparently not major rapidly transported species. They are localized in cytosolic as well as in membrane fractions of axons, and the membrane-associated form behaves as an integral membrane protein(s). These proteins are also found in association with a variety of vesicular and organellar components of neurons including coated vesicles, synaptic vesicles, synaptic plasma membranes, and mitochondria. We discuss the possible roles of these proteins in rapid axonal transport and exocytosis.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Axonal Transport
Synaptic Vesicles
GTP-Binding Proteins
Optic Nerve
Synaptic Membranes
Coated Pit
Guanosine Triphosphate

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