In order to investigate the microtubule-associated intracellular trafficking of the NH2-terminal cellular prion protein (PrPC) fragment [Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 313 (2004) 818], we performed a real-time imaging of fluorescent PrPC (GFP-PrPC) in living cells. Such GFP-PrPC exhibited an anterograde movement towards the direction of plasma membranes at a speed of 140-180 nm/s, and a retrograde movement inwardly at a speed of 1.0-1.2 microm/s. The anterograde and retrograde movements of GFP-PrPC were blocked by a kinesin family inhibitor (AMP-PNP) and a dynein family inhibitor (vanadate), respectively. Furthermore, anti-kinesin antibody (alpha-kinesin) blocked its anterograde motility, whereas anti-dynein antibody (alpha-dynein) blocked its retrograde motility. These data suggested the kinesin family-driven anterograde and the dynein-driven retrograde movements of GFP-PrPC. Mapping of the interacting domains of PrPC identified amino acid residues indispensable for interactions with kinesin family: NH2-terminal mouse (Mo) residues 53-91 and dynein: NH2-terminal Mo residues 23-33, respectively. Our findings argue that the discrete N-terminal amino acid residues are indispensable for the anterograde and retrograde intracellular movements of PrPC.