Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Motor protein KLC4 is vital for neuron development and identity

28 October 2022

Busy Builders

When you’re constructing roads, you need the right components to arrive in the right places at the right time, or you end up with dead ends. The same goes for building neural networks. Here, building blocks are transported along developing neural projections using motor proteins. One such motor protein, kinesin-1, contains several subunits that are implicated in ensuring the right cargo arrives at the right destination within a neuron. Researchers focus on one subunit, in particular, kinesin light chain 4 (KLC4). Comparing live imaging of normal zebrafish (pictured) and mutants lacking KLC4 – each with fluorescently-tagged spinal neurons – reveals that projections in mutants don't stabilise or grow correctly. Plus in the mutant, projections forming the peripheral nervous system incorrectly behaved like those of the central nervous system by bundling together. KLC4 is, therefore, vital for building neurons and establishing the identity of neurons in the peripheral versus central nervous system.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.