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EMBO Rep. 2012 Jun 29;13(7):608-18. doi: 10.1038/embor.2012.73.

The base of the cilium: roles for transition fibres and the transition zone in ciliary formation, maintenance and compartmentalization.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, 555 Mission Bay Blvd South, California 94158, USA.

Abstract

Both the basal body and the microtubule-based axoneme it nucleates have evolutionarily conserved subdomains crucial for cilium biogenesis, function and maintenance. Here, we focus on two conspicuous but underappreciated regions of these structures that make membrane connections. One is the basal body distal end, which includes transition fibres of largely undefined composition that link to the base of the ciliary membrane. Transition fibres seem to serve as docking sites for intraflagellar transport particles, which move proteins within the ciliary compartment and are required for cilium biogenesis and sustained function. The other is the proximal-most region of the axoneme, termed the transition zone, which is characterized by Y-shaped linkers that span from the axoneme to the ciliary necklace on the membrane surface. The transition zone comprises a growing number of ciliopathy proteins that function as modular components of a ciliary gate. This gate, which forms early during ciliogenesis, might function in part by regulating intraflagellar transport. Together with a recently described septin ring diffusion barrier at the ciliary base, the transition fibres and transition zone deserve attention for their varied roles in forming functional ciliary compartments.

PMID:
22653444
PMCID:
PMC3388784
DOI:
10.1038/embor.2012.73
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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