Neurons transmit long-range biochemical signals between cell bodies and distant axonal sites or termini. To test the hypothesis that signaling molecules are hitchhikers on axonal vesicles, we focused on the c-Jun NH 2-terminal kinase (JNK) scaffolding protein Sunday Driver (syd), which has been proposed to link the molecular motor protein kinesin-1 to axonal vesicles. We found that syd and JNK3 are present on vesicular structures in axons, are transported in both the anterograde and retrograde axonal transport pathways, and interact with kinesin-I and the dynactin complex. Nerve injury induces local activation of JNK, primarily within axons, and activated JNK and syd are then transported primarily retrogradely. In axons, syd and activated JNK colocalize with p150Glued, a subunit of the dynactin complex, and with dynein. Finally, we found that injury induces an enhanced interaction between syd and dynactin. Thus, a mobile axonal JNK-syd complex may generate a transport-dependent axonal damage surveillance system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-787
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 28 2005


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