Two Tetrahymena kinesin-like proteins (klps) of the kinesin II subfamily, Kin1 and Kin2, were first identified by Brown et al. [1999: Mol Biol Cell 10: 3081-3096] and shown to be involved in ciliary morphogenesis probably as molecular motors in intraciliary transport (ICT). Using Tetrahymena genomic DNA as a template, we cloned Kin5, another kinesin II subfamily member. Kin5 is upregulated upon deciliation, suggesting that Kin5 is a ciliary protein. Kin5 is most closely related to Osm3, a Caenorhabditis elegans kinesin II; Osm3 and Kin5 have a 56% identity, which rises to 60.4% in the motor domain and a 45% identity in a 60 amino acid region of the C-terminal FERM (4.1, Ezrin, Radixin, Moesin) domain, not present in Kin1 or Kin2, which we hypothesize to be a critical domain either for dimerization or for cargo recognition in ICT. An antibody to a peptide sequence from the tail region of Kin5 localizes in a punctate pattern along the ciliary axoneme, colocalizing with an antibody to the raft protein IFT139. These findings suggest that Kin5 is an ICT motor like Osm3. Osm3 orthologs apparently transport membrane proteins and Kin5 may be the homodimeric kinesin II that performs this function in Tetrahymena cilia.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.