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Sci Rep. 2018 May 22;8(1):7977. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26111-2.

The Developmental Process of the Growing Motile Ciliary Tip Region.

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Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, 12201, USA.
Biology Department, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, 18510, USA.
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, 10400, Thailand.
Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, 12201, USA.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, Albany, NY, 12201, USA.


Eukaryotic motile cilia/flagella play vital roles in various physiological processes in mammals and some protists. Defects in cilia formation underlie multiple human disorders, known as ciliopathies. The detailed processes of cilia growth and development are still far from clear despite extensive studies. In this study, we characterized the process of cilium formation (ciliogenesis) by investigating the newly developed motile cilia of deciliated protists using complementary techniques in electron microscopy and image analysis. Our results demonstrated that the distal tip region of motile cilia exhibit progressive morphological changes as cilia develop. This developmental process is time-dependent and continues after growing cilia reach their full lengths. The structural analysis of growing ciliary tips revealed that B-tubules of axonemal microtubule doublets terminate far away from the tip end, which is led by the flagellar tip complex (FTC), demonstrating that the FTC might not directly mediate the fast turnover of intraflagellar transport (IFT).

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