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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 639301, 8 pages
Review Article

Functions of Kinesin Superfamily Proteins in Neuroreceptor Trafficking

Department of Neurobiology, Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology (Ministry of Health of China), Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310058, China

Received 23 January 2015; Revised 22 April 2015; Accepted 27 April 2015

Academic Editor: Oliver von Bohlen und Halbach

Copyright © 2015 Na Wang and Junyu Xu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Synaptic plasticity is widely regarded as the cellular basis of learning and memory. Understanding the molecular mechanism of synaptic plasticity has been one of center pieces of neuroscience research for more than three decades. It has been well known that the trafficking of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazoloe-4-propionic acid- (AMPA-) type, N-methyl-D-aspartate- (NMDA-) type glutamate receptors to and from synapses is a key molecular event underlying many forms of synaptic plasticity. Kainate receptors are another type of glutamate receptors playing important roles in synaptic transmission. In addition, GABA receptors also play important roles in modulating the synaptic plasticity. Kinesin superfamily proteins (also known as KIFs) transport various cargos in both anterograde and retrograde directions through the interaction with different adaptor proteins. Recent studies indicate that KIFs regulate the trafficking of NMDA receptors, AMPA receptors, kainate receptors, and GABA receptors and thus play important roles in neuronal activity. Here we review the essential functions of KIFs in the trafficking of neuroreceptor and synaptic plasticity.