Ciliated epithelial cells have the unique ability to generate hundreds of centrioles during differentiation. We used centrosomal proteins as molecular markers in cultured mouse tracheal epithelial cells to understand this process. Most centrosomal proteins were up-regulated early in ciliogenesis, initially appearing in cytoplasmic foci and then incorporated into centrioles. Three candidate proteins were further characterized. The centrosomal component SAS-6 localized to basal bodies and the proximal region of the ciliary axoneme, and depletion of SAS-6 prevented centriole assembly. The intraflagellar transport component polaris localized to nascent centrioles before incorporation into cilia, and depletion of polaris blocked axoneme formation. The centriolar satellite component PCM-1 colocalized with centrosomal components in cytoplasmic granules surrounding nascent centrioles. Interfering with PCM-1 reduced the amount of centrosomal proteins at basal bodies but did not prevent centriole assembly. This system will help determine the mechanism of centriole formation in mammalian cells and how the limitation on centriole duplication is overcome in ciliated epithelial cells.
Cilia and flagella play multiple essential roles in animal development and cell physiology. Defective cilium assembly or motility represents the etiological basis for a growing number of human diseases. Therefore, how cilia and flagella assemble and the processes that drive motility are essential for understanding these diseases. Here we show that Drosophila Bld10, the ortholog of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Bld10p and human Cep135, is a ubiquitous centriolar protein that also localizes to the spermatid basal body. Mutants that lack Bld10 assemble centrioles and form functional centrosomes, but centrioles and spermatid basal bodies are short in length. bld10 mutant flies are viable but male sterile, producing immotile sperm whose axonemes are deficient in the central pair of microtubules. These results show that Drosophila Bld10 is required for centriole and axoneme assembly to confer cilium motility.
Cilia are conserved, microtubule-based cell surface projections that emanate from basal bodies, membrane-docked centrioles. The beating of motile cilia and flagella enables cells to swim and epithelia to displace fluids. In contrast, most primary cilia do not beat but instead detect environmental or intercellular stimuli. Inborn defects in both kinds of cilia cause human ciliopathies, diseases with diverse manifestations such as heterotaxia and kidney cysts. These diseases are caused by defects in ciliogenesis or ciliary function. The signaling functions of cilia require regulation of ciliary composition, which depends on the control of protein traffic into and out of cilia.
Centrioles perform the dual functions of organizing both centrosomes and cilia. The biogenesis of nascent centrioles is an essential cellular event that is tightly coupled to the cell cycle so that each cell contains only two or four centrioles at any given point in the cell cycle. The assembly of centrioles and their analogs, basal bodies, is well characterized at the ultrastructural level whereby structural modules are built into a functional organelle. Genetic studies in model organisms combined with proteomic, bioinformatic, and identifying ciliary disease gene orthologs have revealed a wealth of molecules requiring further analysis to determine their roles in centriole duplication, assembly, and function. Nonetheless, at this stage our understanding of how molecular components interact to build new centrioles and basal bodies is limited. The ciliates, Tetrahymena and Paramecium, historically have been the subject of cytological and genetic study of basal bodies. Recent advances in the ciliate genetic and molecular toolkit have placed these model organisms in a favorable position to study the molecular mechanisms of centriole and basal body assembly.
ciliate; Tetrahymena; Paramecium; basal body; centriole; microtubule; cilia; centrosome
Cilia and flagella are highly conserved eukaryotic microtubule-based organelles that protrude from the surface of most mammalian cells. These structures require large protein complexes and motors for distal addition of tubulin and extension of the ciliary membrane. In order for ciliogenesis to occur, coordination of many processes must take place. An intricate concert of cell cycle regulation, vesicular trafficking, and ciliary extension must all play out with accurate timing to produce a cilium. Here, we review the stages of ciliogenesis as well as regulation of the length of the assembled cilium. Regulation of ciliogenesis during cell cycle progression centers on centrioles, from which cilia extend upon maturation into basal bodies. Centriole maturation involves a shift from roles in cell division to cilium nucleation via migration to the cell surface and docking at the plasma membrane. Docking is dependent on a variety of proteinaceous structures, termed distal appendages, acquired by the mother centriole. Ciliary elongation by the process of intraflagellar transport (IFT) ensues. Direct modification of ciliary structures, as well as modulation of signal transduction pathways, play a role in maintenance of the cilium. All of these stages are tightly regulated to produce a cilium of the right size at the right time. Finally, we discuss the implications of abnormal ciliogenesis and ciliary length control in human disease as well as some open questions.
Length control; Intraflagellar transport; Ciliopathies; Ciliary signaling; Pharmacology
Cilia and flagella are organelles essential for motility and sensing of environmental stimuli. Depending on the cell type, cilia acquire a defined set of functions and, accordingly, are built with an appropriate length and molecular composition. Several ciliary proteins display a high degree of conservation throughout evolution and mutations in ciliary genes are associated with various diseases such as ciliopathies and infertility. Here, we describe the role of the highly conserved ciliary protein, Bug22, in Drosophila. Previous studies in unicellular organisms have shown that Bug22 is required for proper cilia function, but its exact role in ciliogenesis has not been investigated yet. Null Bug22 mutant flies display cilia-associated phenotypes and nervous system defects. Furthermore, sperm differentiation is blocked at the individualization stage, due to impaired migration of the individualization machinery. Tubulin post-translational modifications (PTMs) such as polyglycylation, polyglutamylation or acetylation, are determinants of microtubule (MT) functions and stability in centrioles, cilia and neurons. We found defects in the timely incorporation of polyglycylation in sperm axonemal MTs of Bug22 mutants. In addition, we found that depletion of human Bug22 in RPE1 cells resulted in the appearance of longer cilia and reduced axonemal polyglutamylation. Our work identifies Bug22 as a protein that plays a conserved role in the regulation of PTMs of the ciliary axoneme.
Basal bodies; Cilia; Sperm individualization; Spermatogenesis; Tubulin post translation modifications
Poc1 shores up basal bodies to support cilia formation in Tetrahymena thermophila, zebrafish, and humans; Poc1 depletion causes phenotypes commonly seen in ciliopathies.
Centrioles are the foundation for centrosome and cilia formation. The biogenesis of centrioles is initiated by an assembly mechanism that first synthesizes the ninefold symmetrical cartwheel and subsequently leads to a stable cylindrical microtubule scaffold that is capable of withstanding microtubule-based forces generated by centrosomes and cilia. We report that the conserved WD40 repeat domain–containing cartwheel protein Poc1 is required for the structural maintenance of centrioles in Tetrahymena thermophila. Furthermore, human Poc1B is required for primary ciliogenesis, and in zebrafish, DrPoc1B knockdown causes ciliary defects and morphological phenotypes consistent with human ciliopathies. T.
thermophila Poc1 exhibits a protein incorporation profile commonly associated with structural centriole components in which the majority of Poc1 is stably incorporated during new centriole assembly. A second dynamic population assembles throughout the cell cycle. Our experiments identify novel roles for Poc1 in centriole stability and ciliogenesis.
Cilia are found on most human cells and exist as motile cilia or non-motile primary cilia. Primary cilia play sensory roles in transducing various extracellular signals, and defective ciliary functions are involved in a wide range of human diseases. Centrosomes are the principal microtubule-organizing centers of animal cells and contain two centrioles. We observed that DNA damage causes centriole splitting in non-transformed human cells, with isolated centrioles carrying the mother centriole markers CEP170 and ninein but not kizuna or cenexin. Loss of centriole cohesion through siRNA depletion of C-NAP1 or rootletin increased radiation-induced centriole splitting, with C-NAP1-depleted isolated centrioles losing mother markers. As the mother centriole forms the basal body in primary cilia, we tested whether centriole splitting affected ciliogenesis. While irradiated cells formed apparently normal primary cilia, most cilia arose from centriolar clusters, not from isolated centrioles. Furthermore, C-NAP1 or rootletin knockdown reduced primary cilium formation. Therefore, the centriole cohesion apparatus at the proximal end of centrioles may provide a target that can affect primary cilium formation as part of the DNA damage response.
centrosome; DNA damage response; kizuna; C-NAP1; NEK2
Cilia are specialized organelles protruding from the cell surface of almost all mammalian cells. They consist of a basal body, composed of two centrioles, and a protruding body, named the axoneme. Although the basic structure of all cilia is the same, numerous differences emerge in different cell types, suggesting diverse functions. In recent years many studies have elucidated the function of 9+0 primary cilia. The primary cilium acts as an antenna for the cell, and several important pathways such as Hedgehog, Wnt and planar cell polarity (PCP) are transduced through it. Many studies on animal models have revealed that during embryogenesis the primary cilium has an essential role in defining the correct patterning of the body. Cilia are composed of hundreds of proteins and the impairment or dysfunction of one protein alone can cause complete loss of cilia or the formation of abnormal cilia. Mutations in ciliary proteins cause ciliopathies which can affect many organs at different levels of severity and are characterized by a wide spectrum of phenotypes. Ciliary proteins can be mutated in more than one ciliopathy, suggesting an interaction between proteins. To date, little is known about the role of primary cilia in adult life and it is tempting to speculate about their role in the maintenance of adult organs. The state of the art in primary cilia studies reveals a very intricate role. Analysis of cilia-related pathways and of the different clinical phenotypes of ciliopathies helps to shed light on the function of these sophisticated organelles. The aim of this review is to evaluate the recent advances in cilia function and the molecular mechanisms at the basis of their activity.
Centrioles/basal bodies (CBBs) are microtubule-based cylindrical organelles that nucleate the formation of centrosomes, cilia, and flagella. CBBs, cilia, and flagella are ancestral structures; they are present in all major eukaryotic groups. Despite the conservation of their core structure, there is variability in their architecture, function, and biogenesis. Recent genomic and functional studies have provided insight into the evolution of the structure and function of these organelles.
A functional screen identified MARK4 as a positive regulator of axonemal extension and ciliogenesis via its interaction with the mother centriolar protein ODF2.
Despite the critical contributions of cilia to embryonic development and human health, key regulators of cilia formation await identification. In this paper, a functional RNA interference–based screen linked 30 novel protein kinases with ciliogenesis. Of them, we have studied the role of the microtubule (MT)-associated protein/MT affinity regulating kinase 4 (MARK4) in depth. MARK4 associated with the basal body and ciliary axoneme in human and murine cell lines. Ultrastructural and functional analyses established that MARK4 kinase activity was required for initiation of axoneme extension. We identified the mother centriolar protein ODF2 as an interaction partner of MARK4 and showed that ODF2 localization to the centriole partially depended on MARK4. Our data indicated that, upon MARK4 or ODF2 knockdown, the ciliary program arrested before the complete removal of the CP110–Cep97 inhibitory complex from the mother centriole, suggesting that these proteins act at this level of axonemal extension. We propose that MARK4 is a critical positive regulator of early steps in ciliogenesis.
Eukaryotic cilia are complex, highly conserved microtubule-based organelles with a broad phylogenetic distribution. Cilia were present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor and many proteins involved in cilia function have been conserved through eukaryotic diversification. However, cilia have also been lost multiple times in different lineages, with at least two losses occurring within the land plants. Whereas all non-seed plants produce cilia for motility of male gametes, some gymnosperms and all angiosperms lack cilia. During these evolutionary losses, proteins with ancestral ciliary functions may be lost or co-opted into different functions.
Here we identify a core set of proteins with an inferred ciliary function that are conserved in ciliated eukaryotic species. We interrogate this genomic dataset to identify proteins with a predicted ancestral ciliary role that have been maintained in non-ciliated land plants. In support of our prediction, we demonstrate that several of these proteins have a flagellar localisation in protozoan trypanosomes. The phylogenetic distribution of these genes within the land plants indicates evolutionary scenarios of either sub- or neo-functionalisation and expression data analysis shows that these genes are highly expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen cells.
A large number of proteins possess a phylogenetic ciliary profile indicative of ciliary function. Remarkably, many genes with an ancestral ciliary role are maintained in non-ciliated land plants. These proteins have been co-opted to perform novel functions, most likely before the loss of cilia, some of which appear related to the formation of the male gametes.
Evolution; Cilia; Flagella; Basal Body; Centriole; Land Plants
Cep120, a protein involved in maintenance of neural progenitor cells, is required for centriole duplication in cycling cells and for centriole amplification in tracheal epithelial cells.
Centrioles form the core of the centrosome in animal cells and function as basal bodies that nucleate and anchor cilia at the plasma membrane. In this paper, we report that Cep120 (Ccdc100), a protein previously shown to be involved in maintaining the neural progenitor pool in mouse brain, is associated with centriole structure and function. Cep120 is up-regulated sevenfold during differentiation of mouse tracheal epithelial cells (MTECs) and localizes to basal bodies. Cep120 localizes preferentially to the daughter centriole in cycling cells, and this asymmetry between mother and daughter centrioles is relieved coincident with new centriole assembly. Photobleaching recovery analysis identifies two pools of Cep120, differing in their halftime at the centriole. We find that Cep120 is required for centriole duplication in cycling cells, centriole amplification in MTECs, and centriole overduplication in S phase–arrested cells. We propose that Cep120 is required for centriole assembly and that the observed defect in neuronal migration might derive from a defect in this process.
One fundamental role of the centriole in eukaryotic cells is to nucleate the growth of cilia. The unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii provides a simple genetic system to study the role of the centriole in ciliogenesis. Wild-type cells are biflagellate, but “uni” mutations result in failure of some centrioles (basal bodies) to assemble cilia (flagella). Serial transverse sections through basal bodies in uni1 and uni2 single and double mutant cells revealed a previously undescribed defect in the transition of triplet microtubules to doublet microtubules, a defect correlated with failure to assemble flagella. Phosphorylation of the Uni2 protein is reduced in uni1 mutant cells. Immunogold electron microscopy showed that the Uni2 protein localizes at the distal end of the basal body where microtubule transition occurs. These results provide the first mechanistic insights into the function of UNI1 and UNI2 genes in the pathway mediating assembly of doublet microtubules in the axoneme from triplet microtubules in the basal body template.
Cilia are organelles found on most eukaryotic cells, where they serve important functions in motility, sensory reception, and signaling. Recent advances in electron tomography have facilitated a number of ultrastructural studies of ciliary components that have significantly improved our knowledge of cilium architecture. These studies have produced nanometer‐resolution structures of axonemal dynein complexes, microtubule doublets and triplets, basal bodies, radial spokes, and nexin complexes. In addition to these electron tomography studies, several recently published crystal structures provide insights into the architecture and mechanism of dynein as well as the centriolar protein SAS-6, important for establishing the 9-fold symmetry of centrioles. Ciliary assembly requires intraflagellar transport (IFT), a process that moves macromolecules between the tip of the cilium and the cell body. IFT relies on a large 20-subunit protein complex that is thought to mediate the contacts between ciliary motor and cargo proteins. Structural investigations of IFT complexes are starting to emerge, including the first three‐dimensional models of IFT material in situ, revealing how IFT particles organize into larger train-like arrays, and the high-resolution structure of the IFT25/27 subcomplex. In this review, we cover recent advances in the structural and mechanistic understanding of ciliary components and IFT complexes.
► Electron tomographic structures of axonemal components. ► High‐resolution structures of dynein and SAS-6. ► Electron tomographic reconstruction of IFT particles. ► High‐resolution crystal structure of IFT complex 25/27.
2D, two‐dimensional; 3D, three‐dimensional; DIC, differential interference contrast; DRC, dynein regulatory complex; EM, electron microscopy; ET, electron tomography; IDA, inner dynein arm; IFT, intraflagellar transport; MT, microtubule; MTBD, microtubule binding domain; ODA, outer dynein arm; RS, radial spoke; RSP, radial spoke protein; cilium; intraflagellar transport; electron tomography; IFT complex; flagellum
Cep164 provides a molecular link between the mother centriole and the ciliary membrane biogenesis machinery by interacting with the GEF Rabin8 and the GTPase Rab8.
Cilia formation is a multi-step process that starts with the docking of a vesicle at the distal part of the mother centriole. This step marks the conversion of the mother centriole into the basal body, from which axonemal microtubules extend to form the ciliary compartment. How vesicles are stably attached to the mother centriole to initiate ciliary membrane biogenesis is unknown. Here, we investigate the molecular role of the mother centriolar component Cep164 in ciliogenesis. We show that Cep164 was indispensable for the docking of vesicles at the mother centriole. Using biochemical and functional assays, we identified the components of the vesicular transport machinery, the GEF Rabin8 and the GTPase Rab8, as interacting partners of Cep164. We propose that Cep164 is targeted to the apical domain of the mother centriole to provide the molecular link between the mother centriole and the membrane biogenesis machinery that initiates cilia formation.
Cilia and flagella are structurally and functionally conserved organelles present in basal as well as higher eukaryotes. The assembly of cilia requires a microtubule based scaffold called a basal body. The ninefold symmetry characteristic of basal bodies and the structurally similar centriole is organized around a hub and spoke structure termed the cartwheel. To date, SAS-6 is one of the two clearly conserved components of the cartwheel. In some organisms, overexpression of SAS-6 causes the formation of supernumerary centrioles. We questioned whether the centriole assembly initiation capacity of SAS-6 is separate from or directly related to its structural role at the cartwheel. To address this question we used Tetrahymena thermophila, which expresses two SAS-6 homologues, TtSAS6a and TtSAS6b. Cells lacking either TtSAS6a or TtSAS6b are defective in new basal body assembly. TtSas6a localizes to all basal bodies equally, whereas TtSas6b is enriched at unciliated and assembling basal bodies. Interestingly, overexpression of TtSAS6b but not TtSAS6a, led to the assembly of clusters of new basal bodies in abnormal locations. Our data suggest a model where TtSAS6a and TtSAS6b have diverged such that TtSAS6a acts as a structural component of basal bodies, whereas TtSAS6b influences the location of new basal body assembly.
The primary cilium is a sensory organelle generated from the centrosome in quiescent cells and found at the surface of most cell types, from where it controls important physiological processes. Specific sets of membrane proteins involved in sensing the extracellular milieu are concentrated within cilia, including G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Most GPCRs are regulated by β-arrestins, βarr1 and βarr2, which control both their signalling and endocytosis, suggesting that βarrs may also function at primary cilium.
In cycling cells, βarr2 was observed at the centrosome, at the proximal region of the centrioles, in a microtubule independent manner. However, βarr2 did not appear to be involved in classical centrosome-associated functions. In quiescent cells, both in vitro and in vivo, βarr2 was found at the basal body and axoneme of primary cilia. Interestingly, βarr2 was found to interact and colocalize with 14-3-3 proteins and Kif3A, two proteins known to be involved in ciliogenesis and intraciliary transport. In addition, as suggested for other centrosome or cilia-associated proteins, βarrs appear to control cell cycle progression. Indeed, cells lacking βarr2 were unable to properly respond to serum starvation and formed less primary cilia in these conditions.
Our results show that βarr2 is localized to the centrosome in cycling cells and to the primary cilium in quiescent cells, a feature shared with other proteins known to be involved in ciliogenesis or primary cilium function. Within cilia, βarr2 may participate in the signaling of cilia-associated GPCRs and, therefore, in the sensory functions of this cell “antenna”.
Primary cilia, thin hair-like structures protruding from the apical surface of most mammalian cells, have gained the attention of many researchers over the past decade. Primary cilia are microtubule-filled sensory organelles that are enclosed within the ciliary membrane. They originate at the cell surface from the mother centriole that becomes the mature basal body. In this review, we will discuss recent literatures on the roles of cilia as sophisticated sensory organelles. With particular emphasis on vascular endothelia and renal epithelia, the mechanosensory role of cilia in sensing fluid shear stress will be discussed. Also highlighted is the ciliary involvement in cell cycle regulation, development, cell signaling and cancer. Finally, primary cilia-related disorders will be briefly described.
primary cilia; mechanosensory transduction; calcium; fluid shear stress
The transition zone (TZ) is a specialized compartment found at the base of cilia, adjacent to the centriole distal end, where axonemal microtubules (MTs) are heavily cross-linked to the surrounding membrane to form a barrier that gates the ciliary compartment. A number of ciliopathy molecules have been found to associate with the TZ, but factors that directly recognize axonemal MTs to specify TZ assembly at the cilia base remain unclear. Here, through quantitative centrosome proteomics, we identified an axoneme-associated protein, CEP162, tethered specifically at centriole distal ends to promote TZ assembly. CEP162 interacts with core TZ components, and mediates their association with MTs. Loss of CEP162 arrests ciliogenesis at the stage of TZ assembly. Abolishing its centriolar tethering, however, allows CEP162 to stay on the growing end of the axoneme, and ectopically assemble TZ components at cilia tips. This generates extra-long cilia with strikingly swollen tips that actively release ciliary contents into the extracellular environment. CEP162 is thus an axoneme-recognition protein “pre-tethered” at centriole distal ends prior to ciliogenesis to promote and restrict TZ formation specifically at the cilia base.
The primary cilium is a microtubule-based structure protruded from the basal body analogous to the centriole. CPAP (centrosomal P4.1-associated protein) has previously been reported to be a cell cycle-regulated protein that controls centriole length. Mutations in CPAP cause primary microcephaly (MCPH) in humans. Here, using a cell-based system that we established to monitor cilia formation in neuronal CAD (Cath.a-differentiated) cells and hippocampal neurons, we found that CPAP is required for cilia biogenesis. Overexpression of wild-type CPAP promoted cilia formation and induced longer cilia. In contrast, an exogenously expressed CPAP-377EE mutant that lacks tubulin-dimer binding significantly inhibited cilia formation and caused cilia shortening. Furthermore, depletion of CPAP inhibited ciliogenesis and such effect was effectively rescued by expression of wild-type CPAP, but not by the CPAP-377EE mutant. Taken together, our results suggest that CPAP is a positive regulator of ciliogenesis whose intrinsic tubulin-dimer binding activity is required for cilia formation in neuronal cells.
Cilia biogenesis; Centriole; Ciliopathies; MCPH; Microcephaly; CENPJ
Basal bodies are freed from cilia and transition into centrioles to organize centrosomes in dividing cells. A mutually exclusive centriole/basal body existence during cell cycle progression has become a widely accepted principle. Contrary to this view, we show here that cilia assemble and persist through two meiotic divisions in Drosophila spermatocytes. Remarkably, all four centrioles assemble primary cilia-centriole complexes that transit from the plasma membrane encased in a packet of membrane, recruit centrosomal material into microtubule-organizing centers, and persist at the spindle poles through division. Thus, spermatocyte centrioles organize centrosomes and cilia simultaneously at cell division. These findings challenge the prevailing view that cilia antagonize cell cycle progression, and raise the possibility that cilium retention at cell division may occur in diverse organisms and cell types.
Cilia are microtubule-based organelles that arise from the centrosome and project from the surface of many cells. Defects in cilia-localized proteins are felt to lead to polycystic kidney disease as well as ciliopathies with multiple organ involvement. Movement of proteins along mammalian cilia is a specialized process that is highly related to the intraflagellar movement of proteins in lower organisms. Entry of proteins into the cilia appears to be a tightly regulated process. Several cilia-targeting sequences have been identified that appear to mediate the movement of proteins into cilia, although the molecular basis through which these sequences operate is still being elucidated. Entry of proteins into cilia appears to be regulated at the base of the cilia at a region known as the transition zone. It has been proposed that a ciliary pore exists in this zone that controls entry of proteins into the cilia, similar to the nuclear pore that controls entry of proteins into the nucleus. Our group at the University of Michigan has found that proteins important in nuclear import appear to function similarly in cilia entry. In particular, we have identified roles for the small GT Pase, Ran and its binding partners, the importins, in regulating cilia entry of specific proteins.
Ran; importins; ciliopathies; basal body; transition zone; centrosome
Centriolar protein Ana3 is essential for basal body formation, not centriole duplication, as previously thought.
Recent studies have identified a conserved “core” of proteins that are required for centriole duplication. A small number of additional proteins have recently been identified as potential duplication factors, but it is unclear whether any of these proteins are components of the core duplication machinery. In this study, we investigate the function of one of these proteins, Drosophila melanogaster Ana3. We show that Ana3 is present in centrioles and basal bodies, but its behavior is distinct from that of the core duplication proteins. Most importantly, we find that Ana3 is required for the structural integrity of both centrioles and basal bodies and for centriole cohesion, but it is not essential for centriole duplication. We show that Ana3 has a mammalian homologue, Rotatin, that also localizes to centrioles and basal bodies and appears to be essential for cilia function. Thus, Ana3 defines a conserved family of centriolar proteins and plays an important part in ensuring the structural integrity of centrioles and basal bodies.
Ciliary guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) potentially activate G proteins in intraflagellar transport (IFT) cargo release. Several classes of GEFs have been localized to cilia or basal bodies and shown to be functionally important in the prevention of ciliopathies, but ciliary Arl-type Sec 7 related GEFs have not been well characterized. Nair et al. (1999) identified a Paramecium ciliary Sec7 GEF, PSec7. In Tetrahymena, Gef1p (GEF1), tentatively identified by PSec7 antibody, possesses ciliary and nuclear targeting sequences and like PSec7 localizes to cilia and macronuclei. Upregulation of GEF1 RNA followed deciliation and subsequent ciliary regrowth. Corresponding to similar Psec7 domains, GEF1domains contain IQ-like motifs and putative PH domains, in addition to GBF/BIG canonical motifs. Genomic analysis identified two additional Tetrahymena GBF/BIG Sec7 family GEFs (GEF2, GEF3), which do not possess ciliary targeting sequences. GEF1 and GEF2 were HA modified to determine cellular localization. Cells transformed to produce appropriately truncated GEF1-HA showed localization to somatic and oral cilia, but not to macronuclei. Subtle defects in ciliary stability and function were detected. GEF2-HA localized near basal bodies but not to cilia. These results indicate that GEF1 is the resident Tetrahymena ciliary protein orthologous to PSec7.
IFT; GEF; cilia; Arl G proteins; PH domains; IQ motifs