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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2018 Apr;51:124-131. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2018 Mar 23.

The molecular machines that traffic signaling receptors into and out of cilia.

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UCSF School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, United States. Electronic address:


Cilia are surface-exposed organelles that dynamically concentrate signaling molecules to organize sensory, developmental and homeostatic pathways. Entry and exit of signaling receptors is germane to the processing of signals and the molecular machines for entry and exit have started to emerge. The IFT-A complex and its membrane recruitment factor Tulp3 complex promotes the entry of signaling receptors into cilia while the BBSome and its membrane recruitment factor Arl6GTP ferry activated signaling receptors out of cilia. Ciliary exit is a surprisingly complex process entailing passage through a first diffusion barrier at the transition zone, diffusion inside an intermediate compartment and crossing of a periciliary diffusion barrier. The two barriers may organize a privileged compartment where activated signaling receptors transiently reside.

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