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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2012;293:149-68. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394304-0.00010-5.

Regulation of intraflagellar transport and ciliogenesis by small G proteins.

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Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.


Cilia rely on their distinctive protein compositions to function. Proteins gain access to the privileged ciliary compartment through two major routes, membrane trafficking and intraflagellar transport (IFT). Recent advances have provided two possible models for ciliary membrane transport: lateral diffusion and retention, and targeted vesicle transport. The Rab11-Rab8 cascade, which was originally discovered in the yeast's secretion pathway for bud formation, is shown to be required for cilia membrane assembly. Small GTPases, including two IFT particle subunits, and Ran, the master regulator for nuclear-cytoplasmic transport, are implicated in various aspects of IFT, a fundamental process required for the assembly of the microtubule-based backbone of cilia. This chapter reviews the key steps of ciliogenesis and possible mechanisms of IFT regulation, with emphasis on the regulatory roles of small GTPases and their regulators.

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