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1.  Bug22p, a Conserved Centrosomal/Ciliary Protein Also Present in Higher Plants, Is Required for an Effective Ciliary Stroke in Paramecium ▿ † 
Eukaryotic Cell  2010;9(4):645-655.
Centrioles, cilia, and flagella are ancestral conserved organelles of eukaryotic cells. Among the proteins identified in the proteomics of ciliary proteins in Paramecium, we focus here on a protein, Bug22p, previously detected by cilia and basal-body high-throughput studies but never analyzed per se. Remarkably, this protein is also present in plants, which lack centrioles and cilia. Bug22p sequence alignments revealed consensus positions that distinguish species with centrioles/cilia from plants. In Paramecium, antibody and green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion labeling localized Bug22p in basal bodies and cilia, and electron microscopy immunolabeling refined the localization to the terminal plate of the basal bodies, the transition zone, and spots along the axoneme, preferentially between the membrane and the microtubules. RNA interference (RNAi) depletion of Bug22p provoked a strong decrease in swimming speed, followed by cell death after a few days. High-speed video microscopy and morphological analysis of Bug22p-depleted cells showed that the protein plays an important role in the efficiency of ciliary movement by participating in the stroke shape and rigidity of cilia. The defects in cell swimming and growth provoked by RNAi can be complemented by expression of human Bug22p. This is the first reported case of complementation by a human gene in a ciliate.
PMCID: PMC2863418  PMID: 20118210
2.  Genetic Evidence for Interaction between η- and β-Tubulins 
Eukaryotic Cell  2004;3(1):212-220.
The thermosensitive allelic mutations sm19-1 and sm19-2 of Paramecium tetraurelia cause defective basal body duplication: growth at the nonpermissive temperature yields smaller and smaller cells with fewer and fewer basal bodies. Complementation cloning of the SM19 gene identified a new tubulin, eta-tubulin, showing low homology with each of the other five tubulins, α to ɛ, characterized in P. tetraurelia. In order to analyze η-tubulin functions, we used a genetic approach to identify interacting molecules. Among a series of extragenic suppressors of the sm19-1 mutation, the su3-1 mutation was characterized as an E288K substitution in the β-PT2 gene coding for a β-tubulin, while the mutation nocr1 conferring nocodazole resistance and localized in another β-tubulin gene, β-PT3, was shown to enhance the mutant phenotype. The interaction between η-tubulin and microtubules, revealed by genetic data, is supported by two further types of evidence: first, the mutant phenotype is rescued by taxol, which stabilizes microtubules; second, molecular modeling suggests that η-tubulin, like γ- and δ-tubulins, might be a microtubule minus-end capping molecule. The likely function of η-tubulin as part of a complex specifically involved in basal body biogenesis is discussed.
PMCID: PMC329518  PMID: 14871951

Results 1-2 (2)