Localization of intraflagellar transport protein IFT52 identifies basal body transitional fibers as the docking site for IFT particles

Curr Biol. 2001 Oct 16;11(20):1586-90. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(01)00484-5.


Intraflagellar transport (IFT) is a motility in which particles composed of at least 17 polypeptides move underneath the flagellar membrane. Anterograde (outward) and retrograde (inward) movements of these IFT particles are mediated by FLA10 kinesin-II and cytoplasmic dynein DHC1b, respectively. Mutations affecting IFT particle polypeptides or motors result in the inability to assemble flagella. IFT particles and the motors moving them are located principally around the basal bodies as well as in the flagella. Here, we clone the cDNA encoding one of the IFT particle proteins, IFT52, and show by immunofluorescence that while some IFT52 is in the flagella, the majority is found in two horseshoe-shaped rings around the basal bodies. Immunoelectron microscopy indicates that IFT52 is associated with the periphery of the transitional fibers, which extend from the distal portion of the basal body to the cell membrane and demarcate the entrance to the flagellar compartment. This localization suggests that the transitional fibers form a docking complex for the IFT particles destined for the flagellum. Finally, the flagellaless mutant bld1 completely lacks IFT52 due to a deletion in the gene encoding IFT52.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Algal Proteins / chemistry
  • Algal Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Chlamydomonas
  • Flagella / chemistry*
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron / methods
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protozoan Proteins / chemistry
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / isolation & purification*
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism
  • Protozoan Proteins / physiology
  • Regeneration / physiology
  • Sequence Homology


  • Algal Proteins
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • IFT88 protein, Chlamydomonas
  • Neuropeptides
  • Osm-6 protein, C elegans
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protozoan Proteins