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Title: Nanoparticle-assisted optical tethering of endosomes reveals the cooperative function of dyneins in retrograde axonal transport
Authors: Cui, Bianxiao
Chowdary, Praveen D.
Che, Daphne L.
Kaplan, Luke
Chen, Ou
Pu, Kanyi
Bawendi, Moungi
Keywords: Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Issue Date: 2015
Source: Chowdary, P. D., Che, D. L., Kaplan, L., Chen, O., Pu, K., Bawendi, M., et al. (2015). Nanoparticle-assisted optical tethering of endosomes reveals the cooperative function of dyneins in retrograde axonal transport. Scientific Reports, 5, 18059-.
Series/Report no.: Scientific Reports
Abstract: Dynein-dependent transport of organelles from the axon terminals to the cell bodies is essential to the survival and function of neurons. However, quantitative knowledge of dyneins on axonal organelles and their collective function during this long-distance transport is lacking because current technologies to do such measurements are not applicable to neurons. Here, we report a new method termed nanoparticle-assisted optical tethering of endosomes (NOTE) that made it possible to study the cooperative mechanics of dyneins on retrograde axonal endosomes in live neurons. In this method, the opposing force from an elastic tether causes the endosomes to gradually stall under load and detach with a recoil velocity proportional to the dynein forces. These recoil velocities reveal that the axonal endosomes, despite their small size, can recruit up to 7 dyneins that function as independent mechanical units stochastically sharing load, which is vital for robust retrograde axonal transport. This study shows that NOTE, which relies on controlled generation of reactive oxygen species, is a viable method to manipulate small cellular cargos that are beyond the reach of current technology.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/srep18059
Schools: School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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