Axonal transport in neurons is essential for cargo movement between the cell body and synapses. Caenorhabditis elegans UNC-104 and its homolog KIF1A are kinesin-3 motors that anterogradely transport precursors of synaptic vesicles (pre-SVs) and are degraded at synapses. However, in C. elegans, touch neuron-specific knockdown of the E1 ubiquitin-activating enzyme, uba-1, leads to UNC-104 accumulation at neuronal ends and synapses. Here, we performed an RNAi screen and identified that depletion of fbxb-65, which encodes an F-box protein, leads to UNC-104 accumulation at neuronal distal ends, and alters UNC-104 net anterograde movement and levels of UNC-104 on cargo without changing synaptic UNC-104 levels. Split fluorescence reconstitution showed that UNC-104 and FBXB-65 interact throughout the neuron. Our theoretical model suggests that UNC-104 might exhibit cooperative cargo binding that is regulated by FBXB-65. FBXB-65 regulates an unidentified post-translational modification (PTM) of UNC-104 in a region beside the cargo-binding PH domain. Both fbxb-65 and UNC-104, independently of FBXB-65, regulate axonal pre-SV distribution, transport of pre-SVs at branch points and organismal lifespan. FBXB-65 regulates a PTM of UNC-104 and the number of motors on the cargo surface, which can fine-tune cargo transport to the synapse.

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