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J Mol Biol. 2005 Feb 25;346(3):677-87. Epub 2004 Dec 24.

The dyf-3 gene encodes a novel protein required for sensory cilium formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Kyushu University Graduate School, 6-10-1, Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.


Ciliated neurons in animals are important for the reception of environmental stimuli. To understand the mechanism of cilium morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans, we analyzed dyf-3 mutants that are defective in uptake of a fluorescent dye and abnormal in sensory cilium structure. Expression of green fluorescent protein in sensory neurons of a dyf-3 mutant revealed that the mutant has stunted cilia and abnormal posterior projections in some sensory neurons. The dyf-3 gene encodes three proteins with different N-terminals. The largest DYF-3 protein has 404 amino acid residues that are 38% identical with those of a predicted human protein of unknown function. Expression of a functional dyf-3Colon, two colonsgfp fusion gene is detected in 26 chemosensory neurons, including six IL2 neurons, eight pairs of amphid neurons (ASE, ADF, ASG, ASH, ASI, ASJ, ASK and ADL) and two pairs of phasmid neurons (PHA and PHB). Expression of a dyf-3 cDNA in specific neurons of dyf-3 animals indicated that dyf-3 acts cell-autonomously for fluorescent dye uptake. Reduction of dyf-3Colon, two colonsgfp expression in a daf-19 mutant suggests that dyf-3 expression is regulated by DAF-19 transcription factor, and DYF-3 may be involved in the intraflagellar transport system.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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