Intraflagellar transport (IFT) machinery mediates the bi-directional movement of cargos that are required for the assembly and maintenance of cilia. However, little is known about how IFT is regulated in vivo. In this study, we show that the small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) adenosine diphosphate ribosylation factor-like protein 13 (ARL-13) encoded by the Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of the human Joubert syndrome causal gene ARL13B, localizes exclusively to the doublet segment of the cilium. arl-13 mutants have shortened cilia with various ultrastructural deformities and a disrupted association between IFT subcomplexes A and B. Intriguingly, depletion of ARL-3, another ciliary small GTPase, partially suppresses ciliogenesis defects in arl-13 mutants by indirectly restoring binding between IFT subcomplexes A and B. Rescue of arl-13 mutants by ARL-3 depletion is mediated by an HDAC6 deacetylase-dependent pathway. Thus, we propose that two conserved small GTPases, ARL-13 and ARL-3, coordinate to regulate IFT and that perturbing this balance results in cilia deformation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology