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J Cell Biol. 2010 Jan 11;188(1):21-8. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200910096. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

The cytoplasmic tail of fibrocystin contains a ciliary targeting sequence.

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Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Sensory functions of primary cilia rely on ciliary-localized membrane proteins, but little is known about how these receptors are targeted to the cilium. To further our understanding of this process, we dissected the ciliary targeting sequence (CTS) of fibrocystin, the human autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease gene product. We show that the fibrocystin CTS is an 18-residue motif localized in the cytoplasmic tail. This motif is sufficient to target green fluorescent protein (GFP) to cilia of ciliated cells and targets GFP to lipid rafts if the cells are not ciliated. Rab8, but not several other Rabs implicated in ciliary assembly, binds to the CTS in a coimmunoprecipitation assay. Dominant-negative Rab8 interacts more strongly than wild-type or constitutively active Rab8, and coexpression of this dominant-negative mutant Rab8 blocks trafficking to the cilium. This suggests that the CTS functions by binding regulatory proteins like Rab8 to control trafficking through the endomembrane system and on to the cilium.

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