Axonal transport of autophagosomes is regulated by dynein activators JIP3/JIP4 and ARF/RAB GTPases

J Cell Biol. 2023 Dec 4;222(12):e202301084. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202301084. Epub 2023 Nov 1.


Neuronal autophagosomes form and engulf cargos at presynaptic sites in the axon and are then transported to the soma to recycle their cargo. Autophagic vacuoles (AVs) mature en route via fusion with lysosomes to become degradatively competent organelles; transport is driven by the microtubule motor protein cytoplasmic dynein, with motor activity regulated by a sequential series of adaptors. Using lysate-based single-molecule motility assays and live-cell imaging in primary neurons, we show that JNK-interacting proteins 3 (JIP3) and 4 (JIP4) are activating adaptors for dynein that are regulated on autophagosomes and lysosomes by the small GTPases ARF6 and RAB10. GTP-bound ARF6 promotes formation of the JIP3/4-dynein-dynactin complex. Either knockdown or overexpression of RAB10 stalls transport, suggesting that this GTPase is also required to coordinate the opposing activities of bound dynein and kinesin motors. These findings highlight the complex coordination of motor regulation during organelle transport in neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Autophagosomes*
  • Axonal Transport*
  • Axons
  • Dyneins* / genetics
  • Kinesins
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / genetics


  • Dyneins
  • Kinesins
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins