The ciliary transitional zone and nephrocystins

Differentiation; Research in Biological Diversity
Dai Shiba, Takahiko Yokoyama


Loss of cilia and ciliary protein causes various abnormalities (called ciliopathy), including situs inversus, renal cystic diseases, polydactyly and dysgenesis of the nervous system. Renal cystic diseases are the most frequently observed symptoms in ciliopathies. Cilia are microtubule-based organelles with the following regions: a ciliary tip, shaft, transitional zone and basal body/mother centriole. Joubert syndrome (JBTS), Meckel Gruber syndrome (MKS) and Nephronophthisis (NPHP) are overlapping syndromes. Recent studies show that JBST and MKS responsible gene products are localized in the transitional zone of the cilia, where they function as a diffusion barrier, and control protein sorting and ciliary membrane composition. Nephrocystins are gene products of NPHP responsible genes, and at least 11 genes have been identified. Although some nephrocystins interact with JBST and MKS proteins, proteomic analysis suggests that they do not form a single complex. Localization analysis reveals that nephrocystins can be divided into two groups. Group I nephrocystins are localized in the transitional zone, whereas group II nephrocystins are localized in the Inv compartment. Homologs of group I nephrocystins, but not group II nephrocysti...Continue Reading


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