The WD repeat-containing protein IFTA-1 is required for retrograde intraflagellar transport

Oliver E. Blacque, Chunmei Li, Peter N. Inglis, Muneer A. Esmail, Guangshuo Ou, Allan K. Mah, David L. Baillie, Jonathan M. Scholey, Michel R. Leroux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The assembly and maintenance of cilia require intraflagellar transport (IFT), a microtubule-dependent bidirectional motility of multisubunit protein complexes along ciliary axonemes. Defects in IFT and the functions of motile or sensory cilia are associated with numerous human ailments, including polycystic kidney disease and Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Here, we identify a novel Caenorhabditis elegans IFT gene, IFT-associated gene 1 (ifta-1), which encodes a WD repeat-containing protein with strong homology to a mammalian protein of unknown function. Both the C. elegans and human IFTA-1 proteins localize to the base of cilia, and in C. elegans, IFTA-1 can be observed to undergo IFT. IFTA-1 is required for the function and assembly of cilia, because a C. elegans ifta-1 mutant displays chemosensory abnormalities and shortened cilia with prominent ciliary accumulations of core IFT machinery components that are indicative of retrograde transport defects. Analyses of C. elegans IFTA-1 localization/ motility along bbs mutant cilia, where anterograde IFT assemblies are destabilized, and in a che-11 IFT gene mutant, demonstrate that IFTA-1 is closely associated with the IFT particle A subcomplex, which is implicated in retrograde IFT. Together, our data indicate that IFTA-1 is a novel IFT protein that is required for retrograde transport along ciliary axonemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5053-5062
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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