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Neuron. 2001 Aug 2;31(2):277-87.

Polarized dendritic transport and the AP-1 mu1 clathrin adaptor UNC-101 localize odorant receptors to olfactory cilia.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Programs in Developmental Biology, Neuroscience, and Genetics, Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.


Odorant receptors and signaling proteins are localized to sensory cilia on olfactory dendrites. Using a GFP-tagged odorant receptor protein, Caenorhabditis elegans ODR-10, we characterized protein sorting and transport in olfactory neurons in vivo. ODR-10 is transported in rapidly moving dendritic vesicles that shuttle between the cell body and the cilia. Anterograde and retrograde vesicles move at different speeds, suggesting that dendrites have polarized transport mechanisms. Residues immediately after the seventh membrane-spanning domain of ODR-10 are required for localization; these residues are conserved in many G protein-coupled receptors. UNC-101 encodes a mu1 subunit of the AP-1 clathrin adaptor complex. In unc-101 mutants, dendritic vesicles are absent, ODR-10 receptor is evenly distributed over the plasma membrane, and other cilia membrane proteins are also mislocalized, implicating AP-1 in protein sorting to olfactory cilia.

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