The mechanism controlling sorting and axonal retrograde transport in neurons


  • Prof Giampietro Schiavo

    University College London

Project summary

Neurodegenerative diseases carry a significant global health burden and are currently incurable. We have only incomplete knowledge about their pathological mechanisms and which physiological processes are key for disease onset and progression. Professor Schiavo's findings indicate that long-range transport pathways, such as fast axonal transport, are essential for maintenance and survival of neurons. Accordingly, deficits in axonal transport are associated with the onset of several neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting a causal role for dysfunctions in this pathway in these pathologies. Given the limited knowledge of the mechanisms controlling long-range axonal transport, the goal during this award is to address the mechanisms controlling the progression of cellular organelles along the axonal transport route. Professor Schiavo's lab will pursue this aim by investigating the journey of tetanus toxin, a potent neurotoxin causing tetanus in humans and animals, into the nervous system, and the role of components of its receptor complex in axonal transport and neuronal survival.