Expression of KIF3C kinesin during neural development and in vitro neuronal differentiation

Francesca Navone, G. Giacomo Consalez, Milena Sardella, Elisabetta Caspani, Ombretta Pozzoli, Carolina Frassoni, Elena Morlacchi, Roberto Sitia, Teresa Sprocati, Andrea Cabibbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


KIF3A, KIF3B and KIF3C are kinesin-related motor subunits of the KIF3 family that associate to form the kinesin-II motor complex in which KIF3C and KIF3B are alternative partners of KIF3A. We have analysed the expression of Kif3 mRNAs during prenatal murine development. Kif3c transcripts are detectable from embryonic day 12.5 and persist throughout development both in the CNS and in some peripheral ganglia. Comparison of the expression patterns of the Kif3 genes revealed that Kif3c and Kif3a mRNAs colocalize in the CNS, while only Kif3a is also present outside the CNS. In contrast, Kif3b is detectable in several non-neural tissues. We have also performed immunocytochemical analyses of the developing rat brain and have found the presence of the KIF3C protein in selected brain regions and in several fibre systems. Using neuroblastoma cells as an in vitro model for neuronal differentiation, we found that retinoic acid stimulated the expression of the three Kif3 and the kinesin-associated protein genes, although with different time courses. The selective expression of Kif3c in the nervous system during embryonic development and its up-regulation during neuroblastoma differentiation suggest a role for this motor during maturation of neuronal cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-753
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Brain development
  • Kinesin II
  • Microtubule-based motors
  • Mouse development
  • Neuroblastoma cells
  • Neuronal differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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