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.
Cilia have evolved hugely diverse structures and functions to participate in a wide variety of developmental and physiological processes. Ciliary specialization requires differences in gene expression, but few transcription factors are known to regulate this, and their molecular function is unclear. Here, we show that the Drosophila Forkhead box (Fox) gene, fd3F, is required for specialization of the mechanosensory cilium of chordotonal (Ch) neurons. fd3F regulates genes for Ch-specific axonemal dyneins and TRPV ion channels, which are required for sensory transduction, and retrograde transport genes, which are required to differentiate their distinct motile and sensory ciliary zones. fd3F is reminiscent of vertebrate Foxj1, a motile cilia regulator, but fd3F regulates motility genes as part of a broader sensory regulation program. Fd3F cooperates with the pan-ciliary transcription factor, Rfx, to regulate its targets directly. This illuminates pathways involved in ciliary specialization and the molecular mechanism of transcription factors that regulate them.
► Fd3F is a Fox transcription factor for mechanosensory ciliary specialization ► Regulates genes for ciliary motility, compartmentalization, and sensory transduction ► Fd3F modulates the activity of the pan-ciliogenic transcription factor, Rfx ► Fd3F is likely related to Foxj1, the vertebrate regulator of motile ciliated cells
Cilia are highly diverse. The motile sensory cilia of Drosophila mechanosensory neurons provide a good model of ciliary structural and functional specialization. Newton et al. show that Fox and Rfx transcription factors work in concert to activate a gene expression program for ciliary specialization in these neurons.
The primary cilium is a cellular organelle that is almost ubiquitous in eukaryotes, yet its functions in vertebrates have been slow to emerge. The last fifteen years have been marked by accelerating insight into the biology of primary cilia, arising from the synergy of three major lines of research. These research programs describe a specialized mode of protein trafficking in cilia, reveal that genetic disruptions of primary cilia cause complex human disease syndromes, and establish that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signal transduction requires the primary cilium. New lines of research have branched off to investigate the role of primary cilia in neuronal signaling, adult neurogenesis, and brain tumor formation. We review a fast expanding literature to determine what we now know about the primary cilium in the developing and adult CNS, and what new directions should lead to further clarity.
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
Dysfunction of primary cilia due to mutations in cilia-centrosomal proteins is associated with pleiotropic disorders. The primary (or sensory) cilium of photoreceptors mediates polarized trafficking of proteins for efficient phototransduction. Retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) is a cilia-centrosomal protein mutated in >70% of X-linked RP cases and 10%–20% of simplex RP males. Accumulating evidence indicates that RPGR may facilitate the orchestration of multiple ciliary protein complexes. Disruption of these complexes due to mutations in component proteins is an underlying cause of associated photoreceptor degeneration. Here, we highlight the recent developments in understanding the mechanism of cilia-dependent photoreceptor degeneration due to mutations in RPGR and RPGR-interacting proteins in severe genetic diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa, Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), Joubert syndrome, and Senior–Loken syndrome, and explore the physiological relevance of photoreceptor ciliary protein complexes.
primary cilia; centrosome; transition zone; ciliopathies; photoreceptor; retinal degeneration; retina; RPGR; RP2; CEP290; RPGRIP1L; NPHP
The primary cilium has recently stepped into the spotlight, as a flood of data demonstrate that this organelle has crucial roles in vertebrate development and human genetic diseases. Cilia are required for the response to developmental signals, and evidence is accumulating that the primary cilium is specialized for Hedgehog (Hh) signal transduction. Formation of cilia, in turn, is regulated by other signaling pathways, possibly including the planar cell polarity pathway. The cilium therefore represents a nexus for signaling pathways during development. The connections between cilia and developmental signaling have begun to clarify the basis of human diseases associated with ciliary dysfunction.
Primary cilia project from the surface of most vertebrate cells, and function in sensation and signaling during both development and adult tissue homeostasis. Mounting evidence links ciliary defects with a wide variety of diseases, underscoring the importance of understanding how these dynamic organelles are assembled and maintained. However, despite their physiological and clinical relevance, the logic and machinery that regulate ciliogenesis remain largely enigmatic. Here, we summarize emerging data that connect the assembly and disassembly of the primary cilium to cell cycle progression and we examine how determinants of cell architecture, including the planar cell polarity pathway, may regulate ciliogenesis. Additionally, identification of the genes underlying diverse ciliopathies in human patients is shedding light on the regulation of the formation of this complex organelle.
Centriole; centrosome; von Hippel-Lindau; VHL; CP110; Cep97; AuroraA; HEF1; IFT27; MKS1; Meckelin; MKS3
During vertebrate development, the PCP pathway controls multiple cellular processes. Loss of the gene for the PCP effector Fuzzy affects formation of primary cilia via mostly unknown mechanisms. We report that Fuzzy localizes to the primary cilia and orchestrates delivery of Rab8 and Dishevelled to the primary cilium; loss of Fuzzy affects cilia-dependent signaling.
The planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway controls multiple cellular processes during vertebrate development. Recently the PCP pathway was implicated in ciliogenesis and in ciliary function. The primary cilium is an apically projecting solitary organelle that is generated via polarized intracellular trafficking. Because it acts as a signaling nexus, defects in ciliogenesis or cilial function cause multiple congenital anomalies in vertebrates. Loss of the PCP effector Fuzzy affects PCP signaling and formation of primary cilia; however, the mechanisms underlying these processes are largely unknown. Here we report that Fuzzy localizes to the basal body and ciliary axoneme and is essential for ciliogenesis by delivering Rab8 to the basal body and primary cilium. Fuzzy appears to control subcellular localization of the core PCP protein Dishevelled, recruiting it to Rab8-positive vesicles and to the basal body and cilium. We show that loss of Fuzzy results in inhibition of PCP signaling and hyperactivation of the canonical WNT pathway. We propose a mechanism by which Fuzzy participates in ciliogenesis and affects both canonical WNT and PCP signaling.
Primary cilia are nonmotile, microtubule-based, antenna-like organelles projecting from the apical surface of most mammalian cells. Elegant studies have established the importance of ciliary structure and function in signal transduction and the sensory roles of cilia in maintaining healthy cellular state. In particular, dysfunctional cilia have been implicated in a large number of diseases mainly characterized by the presence of fluid-filled cysts in various organs. Aside from polycystic kidney disease (PKD), however, the roles of cilia in polycystic liver disease (PLD), polycystic pancreas disease (PPD), and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are still very vague. In addition, although gender and sex hormones are known to regulate cyst formation, their roles in regulating physiological functions of cilia need to be further explored.
Here we describe methods that are useful for exploring the formation and functions of primary cilia in living cells. First we describe multiple protocols for visualizing solitary cilia that extend away from the cell body. Primary cilia collect, synthesize, and transmit information about the extracellular space into the cell body to promote critical cellular responses. Problems with cilia formation or function can lead to dramatic changes in cell physiology. These methods can be used to assess cilia formation and length, the location of the cilium relative to other cellular structures, and localization of specific proteins to the cilium. The second protocol describes how to quantify movement of fluorescent molecules within the cilium. The microtubules that form the structural scaffold of the cilium are also critical avenues for kinesin and dynein-mediated movement of proteins within the cilium. Assessing intraflagellar dynamics can provide insight into mechanisms of ciliary-mediated signal perception and transmission.
Primary cilium; cilia; intraflagellar transport; kymograph
Ciliopathies encompass a broad array of clinical findings associated with genetic defects in biogenesis and/or function of the primary cilium, a ubiquitous organelle involved in the transduction of diverse biological signals. Degeneration or dysfunction of retinal photoreceptors is frequently observed in diverse ciliopathies. The sensory cilium in a photoreceptor elaborates into unique outer segment discs that provide extensive surface area for maximal photon capture and efficient visual transduction. The daily renewal of approximately 10% of outer segments requires a precise control of ciliary transport. Here, we review the ciliopathies with associated retinal degeneration, describe the distinctive structure of the photoreceptor cilium, and discuss mouse models that allow investigations into molecular mechanisms of cilia biogenesis and defects. We have specifically focused on two ciliary proteins – CEP290 and RPGR – that underlie photoreceptor degeneration and syndromic ciliopathies. Mouse models of CEP290 and RPGR disease, and of their multiple interacting partners, have helped unravel new functional insights into cell type-specific phenotypic defects in distinct ciliary proteins. Elucidation of multifaceted ciliary functions and associated protein complexes will require concerted efforts to assimilate diverse datasets from in vivo and in vitro studies. We therefore discuss a possible framework for investigating genetic networks associated with photoreceptor cilia biogenesis and pathology.
Ciliopathy; Retinal degeneration; Primary cilium; Sensory cilia; CEP290; RPGR; Bardet–Biedl syndrome; Leber congenital amaurosis; Joubert syndrome; Nephronophthisis
Cilia are architecturally complex organelles that protrude from the cell membrane and have signalling, sensory and motility functions that are central to normal tissue development and homeostasis. There are two broad categories of cilia; motile and non-motile, or primary, cilia. The central role of primary cilia in health and disease has become prominent in the past decade with the recognition of a number of human syndromes that result from defects in the formation or function of primary cilia. This rapidly growing class of conditions, now known as ciliopathies, impact the development of a diverse range of tissues including the neural axis, craniofacial structures, skeleton, kidneys, eyes and lungs. The broad impact of cilia dysfunction on development reflects the pivotal position of the primary cilia within a signalling nexus involving a growing number of growth factor systems including Hedgehog, Pdgf, Fgf, Hippo, Notch and both canonical Wnt and planar cell polarity. We have identified a novel ENU mutant allele of Ift140, which causes a mid-gestation embryonic lethal phenotype in homozygous mutant mice. Mutant embryos exhibit a range of phenotypes including exencephaly and spina bifida, craniofacial dysmorphism, digit anomalies, cardiac anomalies and somite patterning defects. A number of these phenotypes can be attributed to alterations in Hedgehog signalling, although additional signalling systems are also likely to be involved. We also report the identification of a homozygous recessive mutation in IFT140 in a Jeune syndrome patient. This ENU-induced Jeune syndrome model will be useful in delineating the origins of dysmorphology in human ciliopathies.
Skeletal ciliopathies are an emerging field of human disease in which skeletal birth defects arise due to abnormal communication between cells. This failure in communication arises following mutation in components of the primary cilia, a hair-like structure present on every cell. The skeletal ciliopathies are debilitating and in severe cases lead to death in early infancy. However, the mechanisms by which these malformations come about remains unclear. Mouse models are often used to delineate the causes of human birth defects and we have identified a model that mimics one of these conditions known as Jeune syndrome. It is the first mouse model with a mutation in the Ift140 gene, and these mice exhibit phenotypes that are often seen in this set of human syndromes. We have complimented this study with the discovery of a patient that presents with Jeune Syndrome resulting from mutation of human IFT140. This model will allow us to explore the role of IFT140 and the primary cilia in normal human development and provide insight into the field of human skeletal ciliopathies.
The primary cilium is a microtubule-based organelle that senses extracellular signals as a cellular antenna . Primary cilia are found on many types of cells in our body and play important roles in development and physiology. Defects of primary cilia cause a broad class of human genetic diseases called ciliopathies. To gain new insights into ciliary functions and better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying ciliopathies, it is of high importance to generate a catalog of primary cilia proteins. In this study, we isolated primary cilia from mouse kidney cells by using a calcium shock method and identified 195 candidate primary cilia proteins by MudPIT (multidimensional protein identification technology), protein correlation profiling, and subtractive proteomic analysis. Based on comparisons with other proteomic studies of cilia, around 75% of our candidate primary cilia proteins are shared components with motile or specialized sensory cilia. The remaining 25% of the candidate proteins are possible primary cilia specific proteins. These possible primary cilia specific proteins include Evc2, Inpp5e and Inversin, several of which have been linked to known ciliopathies. We have performed the first reported proteomic analysis of primary cilia from mammalian cells. These results provide new insights into primary cilia structure and function.
Primary cilia are present on almost all vertebrate cells, and they have diverse functions in distinct tissues. Cilia are important for sensation in multiple capacities in contexts as different as the retina, kidney, and inner ear. In addition to these roles, cilia play a critical part in various developmental processes. Of particular importance is the development of the neural tube, where cilia are essential for the transduction of the Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling pathway that specifies neuronal cell fates. This relationship is well established and is the most recognizable function for cilia in the neural tube, but it may be part of a larger picture. Here, we discuss the links between cilia and Shh signaling, as well as suggesting additional roles for cilia, and mechanisms for their placement, in the neural tube.
Cilia; neural tube development; PCP signaling; Shh signaling
In the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, cilia are found on the dendritic endings of sensory neurons. C. elegans cilia are classified as `primary' or `sensory' according to the `9+0' axonemal ultrastiucture (nine doublet outer microtubules with no central microtubule pair) and lack of motility, characteristics of `9+2' cilia. The C. elegans ciliated nervous system allows the animal to perceive environmental stimuli and make appropriate developmental, physiological, and behavioral decisions. In vertebrates, the biological significance of primary cilia had been largely neglected. Recent findings have placed primary/sensory cilia in the center of cellular signaling and developmental processes. Studies using genetic model organisms such as C. elegans identified the link between ciliary dysfunction and human ciliopathies. Future studies in the worm will address important basic questions regarding ciliary development, morphogenesis, specialization, and signaling functions.
Sensory; Cilia; C. elegans; Receptor Trafficking; Primary Cilia; Neuron; Behavior; Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease; Ciliopathy; Review
Ciliopathies represent a growing group of human genetic diseases whose etiology lies in defects in ciliogenesis or ciliary function. Given the established entity of renal–retinal ciliopathies, we have been examining the role of cilia-localized proteins mutated in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in regulating renal ciliogenesis or cilia-dependent signaling cascades. Specifically, this study examines the role of the RP2 gene product with an emphasis on renal and vertebrate development. We demonstrate that in renal epithelia, RP2 localizes to the primary cilium through dual acylation of the amino-terminus. We also show that RP2 forms a calcium-sensitive complex with the autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease protein polycystin 2. Ablation of RP2 by shRNA promotes swelling of the cilia tip that may be a result of aberrant trafficking of polycystin 2 and other ciliary proteins. Morpholino-mediated repression of RP2 expression in zebrafish results in multiple developmental defects that have been previously associated with ciliary dysfunction, such as hydrocephalus, kidney cysts and situs inversus. Finally, we demonstrate that, in addition to our observed physical interaction between RP2 and polycystin 2, dual morpholino-mediated knockdown of polycystin 2 and RP2 results in enhanced situs inversus, indicating that these two genes also regulate a common developmental process. This work suggests that RP2 may be an important regulator of ciliary function through its association with polycystin 2 and provides evidence of a further link between retinal and renal cilia function.
Primary cilia are exquisitely designed sensory machines that have evolved at least three distinct sensory modalities to monitor the extracellular environment. The presence and activation of growth factor, morphogen, and hormone receptors within the confines of the ciliary membrane, the intrinsic physical relationship between the ciliary axoneme and the centriole, and the preferential assembly of primary cilia on the apical surfaces of tissue epithelia highlight the importance of this organelle in the establishment and maintenance of tissue architecture and homeostasis. Accordingly, recent studies begin to suggest roles for these organelles in oncogenesis and tumor suppression. Here, we review the sensory properties of primary cilia, assess the “history” of the primary cilium in cancer, and draw upon recent findings in a discussion of how the primary cilium may influence tissue architecture and neoplasia.
The ciliopathies are a category of diseases caused by disruption of the physiological functions of cilia. Ciliary dysfunction results in a broad range of phenotypes, including renal, hepatic, and pancreatic cyst formation; situs abnormalities; retinal degeneration; anosmia; cerebellar or other brain anomalies; postaxial polydactyly; bronchiectasis; and infertility. The specific clinical features are dictated by the subtype, structure, distribution, and function of the affected cilia. This review highlights the clinical variability caused by dysfunction of motile and nonmotile primary cilia and emphasizes the genetic heterogeneity and phenotypic overlap that are characteristics of these disorders. There is a need for additional research to understand the shared and unique functions of motile and nonmotile cilia and the pathophysiology resulting from mutations in cilia, basal bodies, or centrosomes. Increased understanding of ciliary biology will improve the diagnosis and management of primary ciliary dyskinesia, syndromic ciliopathies, and cilia-related cystic diseases.
primary cilia; ciliopathy; heterotaxy; nephronophthisis; cyst
The primary cilium, an organelle that transduces extracellular signals important for development and tissue homeostasis, is typically assembled upon cell cycle exit and disassembled upon cell cycle re-entry. Cilium assembly is thought to be suppressed in cycling cells, however the extent of suppression is not clear. For example, primary cilia are present in certain proliferating cells during development, and a period of reciliation has been reported to occur in late G1 in murine 3T3 cells released from serum starvation-induced quiescence. Human retinal pigmented epithelial (hTERT-RPE1; herein, RPE1) cells are commonly used to investigate pathways regulating cilium disassembly, however the ciliary disassembly profile of these cells remains uncertain. A period of reciliation has not been observed. Here, we analyse the ciliary disassembly profile of RPE1 cells by immunofluorescence microscopy. The results suggest a profile similar to 3T3 cells, including a period of reciliation in late G1 and a second wave of deciliation in S phase. We present evidence that arresting cells in early S phase with hydroxyurea or excess thymidine prevents the second wave of deciliation, and that deciliation is initiated shortly after release from a thymidine block, consistent with coupling to DNA replication. These findings support the often overlooked notion that cilium formation can occur in late G1, and suggest that RPE1 cells could serve as a model system for studying the molecular pathways that direct this process, in addition to those that stimulate cilium disassembly. We also present immunofluorescence data indicating that cyclin B1 localises to primary cilia.
•Ciliary disassembly profile of human RPE1 cells was analysed by immunofluorescence.•After release from serum-starvation, RPE1 cells re-assemble cilia in late G1 phase.•Cilium disassembly is not essential for S phase entry, but is coupled to DNA replication.•Cyclin B1 localises to primary cilia.
Primary cilia; Cyclin B1; CDK1; Aurora A; DNA replication; Cilium disassembly; AurA, Aurora kinase A; BrdU, bromodeoxyuridine; CDK, cyclin-dependent kinase; DAPI, 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; FBS, fetal bovine serum; HU, hydroxyurea; Mim, mimosine; siRNA, short interfering RNA; SS, serum-starved; Thy, thymidine
It is generally believed that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) was a unicellular organism with motile cilia. In the vertebrates, the winged-helix transcription factor FoxJ1 functions as the master regulator of motile cilia biogenesis. Despite the antiquity of cilia, their highly conserved structure, and their mechanism of motility, the evolution of the transcriptional program controlling ciliogenesis has remained incompletely understood. In particular, it is presently not known how the generation of motile cilia is programmed outside of the vertebrates, and whether and to what extent the FoxJ1-dependent regulation is conserved. We have performed a survey of numerous eukaryotic genomes and discovered that genes homologous to foxJ1 are restricted only to organisms belonging to the unikont lineage. Using a mis-expression assay, we then obtained evidence of a conserved ability of FoxJ1 proteins from a number of diverse phyletic groups to activate the expression of a host of motile ciliary genes in zebrafish embryos. Conversely, we found that inactivation of a foxJ1 gene in Schmidtea mediterranea, a platyhelminth (flatworm) that utilizes motile cilia for locomotion, led to a profound disruption in the differentiation of motile cilia. Together, all of these findings provide the first evolutionary perspective into the transcriptional control of motile ciliogenesis and allow us to propose a conserved FoxJ1-regulated mechanism for motile cilia biogenesis back to the origin of the metazoans.
Cilia are microtubule-based, hair-like organelles that project from the surfaces of eukaryotic cells. Protists use motile cilia for locomotion as well as for sensory perception. In metazoans, motile cilia also function in fluid transport over epithelia, such as in the mammalian lungs. Most vertebrate and some invertebrate cell-types differentiate non-motile primary cilia, which function exclusively in sensory transduction. It is believed that primary cilia arose from motile cilia through the loss of the motility apparatus. Cilia are complex organelles: a large number of proteins are involved in their assembly and maintenance. FoxJ1, a forkhead-domain transcription factor, is the master regulator of motile ciliogenesis in vertebrates. It is not known to what extent this transcriptional control is conserved and how it may have evolved. Here, we document the existence of FoxJ1 orthologs in several eukaryotic groups besides the vertebrates. FoxJ1 proteins from three representative phyla—Placozoa, Platyhelminthes, and Echinodermata—were able to activate the expression of ciliary genes when mis-expressed in zebrafish embryos. Moreover, inactivation of FoxJ1 in planaria (Platyhelminthes) abolished motile cilia differentiation. These results provide new insights into the transcriptional regulation of motile cilia biogenesis outside the vertebrates and demonstrate a remarkable conservation of the activity of FoxJ1.
This study revealed a role for meckelin in the intraciliary trafficking of phototransduction molecules and in the elongation and maintenance of the photoreceptor outer segments.
Cilia, complex structures found ubiquitously in most vertebrate cells, serve a variety of functions ranging from cell and fluid movement, cell signaling, tissue homeostasis, to sensory perception. Meckelin is a component of ciliary and cell membranes and is encoded by Tmem67 (Mks3). In this study, the retinal morphology and ciliary function in a mouse model for Meckel Syndrome Type 3 (MKS3) throughout the course of photoreceptor development was examined.
To study the effects of a disruption in the Mks3 gene on the retina, the authors introduced a functional allele of Pde6b into B6C3Fe a/a-bpck/J mice and evaluated their retinas by ophthalmoscopic, histologic, and ultrastructural examination. In addition, immunofluorescence microscopy was used to assess protein trafficking through the connecting cilium and to examine the localization of ciliary and synaptic proteins in Tmem67bpck mice and controls.
Photoreceptors degenerate early and rapidly in bpck/bpck mutant mice. In addition, phototransduction proteins, such as rhodopsin, arrestin, and transducin, are mislocalized. Ultrastructural examination of photoreceptors reveal morphologically intact connecting cilia but dysmorphic and misoriented outer segment (OS) discs, at the earliest time point examined.
These findings underscore the important role for meckelin in intraciliary transport of phototransduction molecules and their effects on subsequent OS morphogenesis and maintenance.
Cilia function as critical sensors of extracellular information, and ciliary dysfunction underlies diverse human disorders including situs inversus, polycystic kidney disease, retinal degeneration and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Importantly, mammalian primary cilia have recently been shown to mediate transduction of Hedgehog (Hh) signals, which are involved in a variety of developmental processes. Mutations in several ciliary components disrupt the patterning of the neural tube and limb bud, tissues that rely on precisely coordinated gradients of Hh signal transduction. Numerous components of the Hh pathway, including Patched, Smoothened and the Gli transcription factors, are present within primary cilia, indicating that key steps of Hh signaling may occur within the cilium. Because dysregulated Hh signaling promotes the development of a variety of human tumors, cilia may also have roles in cancer. Together, these findings have shed light on one mechanism by which primary cilia transduce signals critical for both development and disease.
Primary cilia are a class of cilia that are typically solitary, immotile appendages present on nearly every mammalian cell type. Primary cilia are believed to perform specialized sensory and signaling functions that are important for normal development and cellular homeostasis. Indeed, primary cilia dysfunction is now linked to numerous human diseases and genetic disorders. Collectively, primary cilia disorders are termed as ciliopathies and present with a wide range of clinical features, including cystic kidney disease, retinal degeneration, obesity, polydactyly, anosmia, intellectual disability, and brain malformations. Although significant progress has been made in elucidating the functions of primary cilia on some cell types, the precise functions of most primary cilia remain unknown. This is particularly true for primary cilia on neurons throughout the mammalian brain. This review will introduce primary cilia and ciliary signaling pathways with a focus on neuronal cilia and their putative functions and roles in human diseases.
Primary cilia; Ciliopathy; Neuronal cilia; Ciliary signaling; Somatostatin receptor 3; Serotonin receptor 6; Melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1; Type 3 adenylyl cyclase
In the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Oda16 functions during ciliary assembly as an adaptor for intraflagellar transport of outer arm dynein. Oda16 orthologs only occur in genomes of organisms that use motile cilia, however, such cilia play multiple roles during vertebrate development and the contribution of Oda16 to their assembly remains unexplored. We demonstrate that the zebrafish Oda16 ortholog (Wdr69) is expressed in organs with motile cilia and retains a role in dynein assembly. Antisense morpholino knockdown of Wdr69 disrupts ciliary motility and results in multiple phenotypes associated with vertebrate ciliopathies. Affected cilia included those in Kupffer's vesicle, where Wdr69 plays a role in generation of asymmetric fluid flow and establishment of organ laterality, and otic vesicles, where Wdr69 is needed to develop normal numbers of otoliths. Analysis of cilium ultrastructure revealed loss of outer dynein arms in morphant embryos. These results support a remarkable level of functional conservation for Oda16/Wdr69.
cilia; asymmetry; intraflagellar transport; axonemal dynein; situs inversus
Primary cilia are microtubule-based extensions of the plasma membrane in nearly all cell types. In vertebrate photoreceptors, the sensory cilium develops as outer segment (OS) that contains the photopigment Rhodopsin and other proteins necessary for phototransduction. The distinct composition of proteins and lipids in the OS membrane is maintained by the selective barrier located at the border between the basal body and the ciliary compartment, called the Transition Zone (TZ).
In this review, we will discuss the identification and function of two ciliary TZ proteins, RPGR (retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator) and CEP290. Mutations in these proteins account for a majority of retinopathies due to ciliary dysfunction. We will also discuss the potential of such information in designing therapeutic approaches to treat cilia-dependent photoreceptor degenerative diseases.
RPGR and CEP290 perform overlapping yet distinct functions in regulating trafficking of cargo via the TZ of photoreceptors. While RPGR modulates the trafficking by acting as a GEF for the small GTPase RAB8A, CEP290 may be involved in maintaining the polarized distribution of proteins in the OS by modulating intracellular levels of selected proteins involved in inhibiting OS formation.
Ciliopathies; cilia; retina; retinitis pigmentosa; retinal degeneration; Leber congenital amaurosis; Ciliary trafficking; connecting cilium; transition zone