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Int Rev Cytol. 2007;260:175-212.

Flagellar length control in chlamydomonas--paradigm for organelle size regulation.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco, California 94158, USA.


A fundamental unsolved question in cell biology is how the cell controls the size of its organelles. Cilia and flagella are an ideal test case to study the mechanism of organelle size control, because their size is easily measured and can be represented by a single number-length. Moreover, the involvement of cilia in many developmental and physiological processes suggests an understanding of their size control system is critical for understanding ciliary diseases, many of which (e.g., autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease) are known to involve abnormally short cilia. The flagella of the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii provide the best genetic and cell-biological system to study length control of cilia. Studies in this organism using genetics, biochemistry, imaging, and mathematical modeling have revealed many genes involved in length control of cilia and flagella, and have suggested several testable models for length regulation.

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