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1.  The planar cell polarity effector Fuz is essential for targeted membrane trafficking, ciliogenesis, and mouse embryonic development 
Nature cell biology  2009;11(10):1225-1232.
The planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling pathway is essential for embryonic development because it governs diverse cellular behaviors, and the “core PCP” proteins, such as Dishevelled and Frizzled, have been extensively characterized1–4. By contrast, the “PCP effector” proteins, such as Intu and Fuz, remain largely unstudied5, 6. These proteins are essential for PCP signaling, but they have never been investigated in a mammal and their cell biological activities remain entirely unknown. We report here that Fuz mutant mice display neural tube defects, skeletal dysmorphologies, and Hedgehog signaling defects stemming from disrupted ciliogenesis. Using bioinformatics and imaging of an in vivo mucociliary epithelium, we establish a central role for Fuz in membrane trafficking, showing that Fuz is essential for trafficking of cargo to basal bodies and to the apical tips of cilia. Fuz is also essential for exocytosis in secretory cells. Finally, we identify a novel, Rab-related small GTPase as a Fuz interaction partner that is also essential for ciliogenesis and secretion. These results are significant because they provide novel insights into the mechanisms by which developmental regulatory systems like PCP signaling interface with fundamental cellular systems such as the vesicle trafficking machinery.
doi:10.1038/ncb1966
PMCID: PMC2755648  PMID: 19767740
2.  Dishevelled controls apical docking and planar polarization of basal bodies in ciliated epithelial cells 
Nature genetics  2008;40(7):871-879.
The planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling system governs many aspects of polarized cell behavior. Here, we use an in vivo model of vertebrate mucociliary epithelial development to show that Dishevelled (Dvl) is essential for the apical positioning of basal bodies. We find that Dvl and Inturned mediate the activation of the Rho GTPase specifically at basal bodies, and that these three proteins together mediate the docking of basal bodies to the apical plasma membrane. Moreover, we find that the docking involves a Dvl-dependent association of basal bodies with membrane-bound vesicles and with the vesicle-trafficking protein, Sec8. Once docked, Dvl and Rho are once again required for the planar polarization of basal bodies that underlies directional beating of cilia. These results demonstrate novel functions for PCP signaling components and suggest that a common signaling appratus governs both apical docking and planar polarization of basal bodies.
doi:10.1038/ng.104
PMCID: PMC2771675  PMID: 18552847
3.  Identification of novel ciliogenesis factors using a new in vivo model for mucociliary epithelial development 
Developmental biology  2007;312(1):115-130.
Mucociliary epithelia are essential for homeostasis of many organs and consist of mucus-secreting goblet cells and ciliated cells. Here, we present the ciliated epidermis of Xenopus embryos as a facile model system for in vivo molecular studies of mucociliary epithelial development. Using an in situ hybridization-based approach, we identified numerous genes expressed differentially in mucus-secreting cells or in ciliated cells. Focusing on genes expressed in ciliated cells, we have identified new candidate ciliogenesis factors, including several not present in the current ciliome. We find that TTC25-GFP is localized to the base of cilia and to ciliary axonemes, and disruption of TTC25 function disrupts ciliogenesis. Mig12-GFP localizes very strongly to the base of cilia and confocal imaging of this construct allows for simple visualization of the planar polarity of basal bodies that underlies polarized ciliary beating. \Knockdown of Mig12 disrupts ciliogenesis. Finally, we show that ciliogenesis factors identified in the Xenopus epidermis are required in the midline to facilitate neural tube closure. These results provide further evidence of a requirement for cilia in neural tube morphogenesis and suggest that genes identified in the Xenopus epidermis play broad roles in ciliogenesis. The suites of genes identified here will provide a foundation for future studies, and may also contribute to our understanding of pathological changes in mucociliary epithelia that accompany diseases such as asthma.
doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2007.09.01
PMCID: PMC2225594  PMID: 17961536

Results 1-3 (3)