The development and functions of neurons are supported by axonal transport. Axonal transport is a complex process whose regulation involves multiple molecules, such as microtubules, microtubule-associated proteins, kinases, molecular motors, and motor binding proteins. Gain of function and loss of function mutations of genes that encode these proteins often lead to human axonal neuropathy. Caenorhabditis elegans provides a powerful genetic system to study the consequences of gene mutations for axonal transport. Here, we discuss advantages and limitations of using C. elegans, propose standard criteria, and describe methods to analyze the impact of gene mutations on axonal transport in C. elegans. To obtain solid conclusions, it is necessary to image single neurons in vivo labeled by a specific promoter and to confirm that a mutation changes the localization of a cargo. The motility parameters of the transported cargo should then be analyzed in the mutant. This method enables the axonal transport of proteins and organelles, such as synaptic vesicle precursors and mitochondria, to be analyzed.
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