Shinsuke Niwa

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The kinesin, dynein, and myosin superfamily molecular motors have fundamental roles in neuronal function, plasticity, morphogenesis, and survival by transporting cargos such as synaptic vesicle precursors, neurotransmitter and neurotrophic factor receptors, and mRNAs within axons, dendrites, and synapses. Recent studies have begun to clarify the mechanisms(More)
Intracellular transport is fundamental for cellular function, survival and morphogenesis. Kinesin superfamily proteins (also known as KIFs) are important molecular motors that directionally transport various cargos, including membranous organelles, protein complexes and mRNAs. The mechanisms by which different kinesins recognize and bind to specific cargos,(More)
Synaptic proteins are synthesized in the cell body and transported down the axon by microtubule-dependent motors. We previously reported that KIF1Bβ and KIF1A motors are essential for transporting synaptic vesicle precursors; however the mechanisms that regulate transport, as well as cargo recognition and control of cargo loading and unloading remain(More)
Cilia control homeostasis of the mammalian body by generating fluid flow. It has long been assumed that ciliary length-control mechanisms are essential for proper flow generation, because fluid flow generation is a function of ciliary length. However, the molecular mechanisms of ciliary length control in mammals remain elusive. Here, we suggest that KIF19A,(More)
Polarized transport in neurons is fundamental for the formation of neuronal circuitry. A motor domain-containing truncated KIF5 (a kinesin-1) recognizes axonal microtubules, which are enriched in EB1 binding sites, and selectively accumulates at the tips of axons. However, it remains unknown what cue KIF5 recognizes to result in this selective accumulation.(More)
Microtubules are fundamental to neuronal morphogenesis and function. Mutations in tubulin, the major constituent of microtubules, result in neuronal diseases. Here, we have analysed b-tubulin mutations that cause neuronal diseases and we have identified mutations that strongly inhibit axonal transport of vesicles and mitochondria. These mutations are in the(More)
Microtubules are fundamental to neuronal morphogenesis and function. Mutations in tubulin, the major constituent of microtubules, result in neuronal diseases. Here, we have analysed β-tubulin mutations that cause neuronal diseases and we have identified mutations that strongly inhibit axonal transport of vesicles and mitochondria. These mutations are in the(More)
KIF1A is a major axonal transport motor protein, but its functional significance remains elusive. Here we show that KIF1A-haploinsufficient mice developed sensory neuropathy. We found progressive loss of TrkA(+) sensory neurons in Kif1a(+/-) dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). Moreover, axonal transport of TrkA was significantly disrupted in Kif1a(+/-) neurons.(More)
The kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) are motor proteins that transport organelles and protein complexes in a microtubule- and ATP-dependent manner. We identified KIF26A as a new member of the murine KIFs. KIF26A is a rather atypical member as it lacks ATPase activity. Mice with a homozygous deletion of Kif26a developed a megacolon with enteric nerve(More)
Molecular motors are fundamental to neuronal morphogenesis and function. However, the extent to which molecular motors are involved in higher brain functions remains largely unknown. In this study, we show that mice deficient in the kinesin family motor protein KIF13A (Kif13a(-/-) mice) exhibit elevated anxiety-related behavioral phenotypes, probably(More)