Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New understanding of formation of cilia: Cilia provide mobility to cells, and defects are implicated in many disease

Date:
August 30, 2013
Source:
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Summary:
Tiny hair-like structures (cilia) are found on the surface of most cells. Cilia are responsible for the locomotion of cells (e.g. sperm cells), they process external signals and coordinate the correct arrangement of the inner organs during the development of an organism. For proper assembly and function of cilia, they need to be supplied with the appropriate building blocks. Scientists have now identified the mechanism of how Tubulin, the main building block of cilia, is transported within the cilium.

Building blocks for the assembly of a cilium are transported from the base to the tip of the cilium.
Credit: Institut Pasteur, Paris

Tiny hair-like structures (cilia) are found on the surface of most cells. Cilia are responsible for the locomotion of cells (e.g. sperm cells), they process external signals and coordinate the correct arrangement of the inner organs during the development of an organism. For proper assembly and function of cilia, they need to be supplied with the appropriate building blocks.

Related Articles


Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) in Martinsried near Munich, Germany, now identified the mechanism of how Tubulin, the main building block of cilia, is transported within the cilium. "Defects in cilia cause numerous diseases that affect millions of people worldwide," says Sagar Bhogaraju, scientist at the MPI of Biochemistry.

The results now published in the journal Science could help to understand and potentially prevent these diseases.

Although cilia fulfill various tasks, they all have a similar structure: They are only five to ten micrometers (0.0005 to 0.001 centimeters) long and are located on the surface of eukaryotic cells. About 600 different ciliary proteins are synthesized inside the cell and then transported into the cilium. Disruption of this transport system, which scientists call intraflagellar transport (IFT), can lead to errors during the assembly of the cilia and thus cause diseases resulting in mental and physical symptoms. Mistakes in ciliary function can for example cause a "situs inversus," a condition where the left/right arrangement of the inner organs in the body is reversed.

Even though the importance of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) and the cilium to human health has been known for a long time, a structural and mechanistic understanding of IFT has been missing so far. Scientists from the research group "Intraflagellar Transport" headed by Esben Lorentzen now succeeded in identifying the transport mechanism of the key protein Tubulin. It is the most abundant protein in the cilium and forms its backbone. "We found that the two proteins IFT74 and IFT81 work together to form a tubulin-binding module," says Sagar Bhogaraju. When the researchers disturbed the binding of IFT74 and -81 to tubulin in human cells, it had severe impact on the formation of the cilia. "Our results provide the first glimpse into the assembly of the cilium at the molecular level," says the biochemist.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Bhogaraju, L. Cajanek, C. Fort, T. Blisnick, K. Weber, M. Taschner, N. Mizuno, S. Lamla, P. Bastin, E. A. Nigg, E. Lorentzen. Molecular Basis of Tubulin Transport Within the Cilium by IFT74 and IFT81. Science, 2013; 341 (6149): 1009 DOI: 10.1126/science.1240985

Cite This Page:

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. "New understanding of formation of cilia: Cilia provide mobility to cells, and defects are implicated in many disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130830091753.htm>.
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. (2013, August 30). New understanding of formation of cilia: Cilia provide mobility to cells, and defects are implicated in many disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130830091753.htm
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. "New understanding of formation of cilia: Cilia provide mobility to cells, and defects are implicated in many disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130830091753.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins