Retrograde axonal transport of signal transduction proteins in rat sciatic nerve

Brain Res. 1995 Aug 28;690(1):55-63. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(95)00587-g.


Neurons require a mechanism to transmit stable signals over the large distance from the nerve growth cone or terminal to the cell body, in order that information from the target tissue can be relayed to the cell body where it is required. Nerve growth factor (NGF), a target-derived neurotrophic factor, is thought to signal over this distance by receptor mediated internalization of NGF, followed by retrograde axonal transport of the NGF-receptor complex. In this paper we show, by immunohistochemistry of rat sciatic nerve, accumulation of phosphotyrosine immunoreactivity only on the distal side of a nerve crush, suggesting axonal transport of tyrosine kinases and/or tyrosine phosphorylated proteins primarily in a retrograde direction. Furthermore, we also show retrograde axonal transport of phosphoinositide 3-kinase, ERK, MEK and MEK kinase, of which all but MEK kinase are known to be activated downstream of tyrosine receptor kinase activation. The retrograde transport of these proteins suggests that they may be involved in transmission of signals along the axon, relaying neurotrophic factor receptor activation at the nerve terminal to the nerve cell body.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / physiology*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • GAP-43 Protein
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sciatic Nerve / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • GAP-43 Protein
  • Growth Substances
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases