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Curr Biol. 2001 Mar 20;11(6):457-61.

An autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease gene homolog is involved in intraflagellar transport in C. elegans ciliated sensory neurons.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


In this report, we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans gene osm-5 is homologous to the Chlamydomonas gene IFT88 and the mouse autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) gene, Tg737. The function of this ARPKD gene may be evolutionarily conserved: mutations result in defective ciliogenesis in worms [1], algae [2], and mice [2, 3]. Intraflagellar transport (IFT) is essential for the development and maintenance of motile and sensory cilia [4]. The biochemically isolated IFT particle from Chlamydomonas flagella is composed of 16 polypeptides in one of two Complexes (A and B) [5, 6] whose movement is powered by kinesin II (anterograde) and cytoplasmic dynein (retrograde) [7-9]. We demonstrate that OSM-5 (a Complex B polypeptide), DAF-10 and CHE-11 (two Complex A polypeptides), and CHE-2 [10], a previously uncategorized IFT polypeptide, all move at the same rate in C. elegans sensory cilia. In the absence of osm-5, the C. elegans autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD) gene products [11] accumulate in stunted cilia, suggesting that abnormal or lack of cilia or defects in IFT may result in diseases such as polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

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