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Microtubule organisation and polarized transport of kinesins in neurons


The human brain consists of intricately connected neurons forming functional circuits encoding memory, emotions and cognition. A neuron’s polarized organisation into axons and dendrites underlies its ability to receive, process and transmit information. To establish and maintain such a highly complex organisation, cytoskeletal motor proteins transport basic building blocks to either axons or dendrites. Several members of the kinesin motor family are selectively moving into axons, presumably guided by the specific organisation of the neuronal microtubule cytoskeleton. However, how different aspects of microtubule network organisation, such as filament length, orientation and modifications, contribute to selective transport of these kinesins is poorly understood. Therefore the aim of this project is to determine the connection between neuronal microtubule organisation and polarized transport of different kinesins. We will map the three-dimensional microtubule network at nanoscale resolution (objective 1) and decipher the intracellular transport driven by kinesins with optogenetics (objective 2). The integrated and quantitative knowledge provided by this project will pave the way towards understanding polarized transport in health and neurodegenerative diseases.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/social and economic geography/transport
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry/mass spectrometry
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/neurology/alzheimer
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/cell biology
  • /engineering and technology/other engineering and technologies/microtechnology/molecular engineering
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/neurology/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/microscopy/super resolution microscopy
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Heidelberglaan 8
3584 CS Utrecht
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 177 598,80