Kinesin transports RNA: isolation and characterization of an RNA-transporting granule

Neuron. 2004 Aug 19;43(4):513-25. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.07.022.


RNA transport is an important and fundamental event for local protein synthesis, especially in neurons. RNA is transported as large granules, but little is known about them. Here, we isolated a large RNase-sensitive granule (size: 1000S approximately) as a binding partner of conventional kinesin (KIF5). We identified a total of 42 proteins with mRNAs for CaMKIIalpha and Arc in the granule. Seventeen of the proteins (hnRNP-U, Pur alpha and beta, PSF, DDX1, DDX3, SYNCRIP, TLS, NonO, HSPC117, ALY, CGI-99, staufen, three FMRPs, and EF-1alpha) were extensively investigated, including their classification, binding combinations, and necessity for the "transport" of RNA. These proteins and the mRNAs were colocalized to the kinesin-associated granules in dendrites. The granules moved bidirectionally, and the distally directed movement was enhanced by the overexpression of KIF5 and reduced by its functional blockage. Thus, kinesin transports RNA via this granule in dendrites coordinately with opposite motors, such as dynein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / genetics
  • Cytoplasmic Granules / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / cytology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Kinesins / genetics
  • Kinesins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Protein Binding / genetics
  • RNA Transport / genetics
  • RNA Transport / physiology*


  • Kif5b protein, mouse
  • Kinesins