Cotransport of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and actin in axons of chicken motoneurons

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 1999 Dec;19(6):733-44. doi: 10.1023/a:1006953022763.


1. To study proteins transported with actin in axons, we pulse-labeled motoneurons in the chicken sciatic nerve with [35S]methionine and, 1-20 days later, isolated actin and its binding proteins by affinity chromatography of Triton soluble nerve extracts on DNase I-Sepharose. The DNase I-purified proteins were electrophoresed on two-dimensional gels and the specific activity of the radioactively labeled protein spots was estimated by fluorography. 2. In addition to actin, which binds specifically to DNase I, a small number of other proteins were labeled, including established actin monomer binding proteins and a protein of 36 kDa and pI 8.5. On the basis of its molecular mass, pI, amino acid composition, and immunostaining, the unrecognized protein was identified as the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). 3. The high-affinity binding of GAPDH to actin was confirmed by incubation of Triton-soluble nerve extracts with either mouse anti-GAPDH (or antiactin) and indirect immunomagnetic separation with Dynabeads covalently linked to sheep anti-mouse antibody. Analysis by one-dimensional gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting showed that actin and GAPDH were the main proteins isolated by these methods. 4. Analysis of labeled nerves at 12 and 20 days after pulse labeling showed that GAPDH and actin were transported at the same rate, i.e., 3-5 mm/day, which corresponds to slow component b of axonal transport. These proteins were not associated with rapidly transported proteins that accumulated proximal to a ligation 7 cm from the spinal cord 9 hr after injection of radioactivity. 5. Our results indicate that GAPDH and actin are transported as a complex in axons and raise the possibility that GAPDH could act as a chaperone for monomeric actin, translocating it to intraaxonal sites for exchange with or assembly into actin filaments. Alternatively, actin could be involved in translocating and anchoring GAPDH to specialized sites in axons and nerve terminals that require a source of ATP by glycolysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport*
  • Chickens
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Female
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / metabolism*
  • Immunomagnetic Separation
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Motor Neurons / metabolism*
  • Motor Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism*
  • Sciatic Nerve / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (304-313)
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases
  • Deoxyribonuclease I