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J Cell Biol. 2009 Nov 2;187(3):365-74. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200907126. Epub 2009 Oct 26.

Lateral transport of Smoothened from the plasma membrane to the membrane of the cilium.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

The function of primary cilia depends critically on the localization of specific proteins in the ciliary membrane. A major challenge in the field is to understand protein trafficking to cilia. The Hedgehog (Hh) pathway protein Smoothened (Smo), a 7-pass transmembrane protein, moves to cilia when a ligand is received. Using microscopy-based pulse-chase analysis, we find that Smo moves through a lateral transport pathway from the plasma membrane to the ciliary membrane. Lateral movement, either via diffusion or active transport, is quite distinct from currently studied pathways of ciliary protein transport in mammals, which emphasize directed trafficking of Golgi-derived vesicles to the base of the cilium. We anticipate that this alternative route will be used by other signaling proteins that function at cilia. The path taken by Smo may allow novel strategies for modulation of Hh signaling in cancer and regeneration.

PMID:
19948480
PMCID:
PMC2779247
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.200907126
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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