The Zn finger protein Iguana impacts Hedgehog signaling by promoting ciliogenesis

Dev Biol. 2010 Jan 1;337(1):148-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.10.025. Epub 2009 Oct 21.


Hedgehog signaling is critical for metazoan development and requires cilia for pathway activity. The gene iguana was discovered in zebrafish as required for Hedgehog signaling, and encodes a novel Zn finger protein. Planarians are flatworms with robust regenerative capacities and utilize epidermal cilia for locomotion. RNA interference of Smed-iguana in the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea caused cilia loss and failure to regenerate new cilia, but did not cause defects similar to those observed in hedgehog(RNAi) animals. Smed-iguana gene expression was also similar in pattern to the expression of multiple other ciliogenesis genes, but was not required for expression of these ciliogenesis genes. iguana-defective zebrafish had too few motile cilia in pronephric ducts and in Kupffer's vesicle. Kupffer's vesicle promotes left-right asymmetry and iguana mutant embryos had left-right asymmetry defects. Finally, human Iguana proteins (dZIP1 and dZIP1L) localize to the basal bodies of primary cilia and, together, are required for primary cilia formation. Our results indicate that a critical and broadly conserved function for Iguana is in ciliogenesis and that this function has come to be required for Hedgehog signaling in vertebrates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Cilia / physiology*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Hedgehog Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Planarians / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zinc Fingers / physiology*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DZIP1 protein, human
  • Dzip1 protein, zebrafish
  • Hedgehog Proteins