CDKL5 regulates flagellar length and localizes to the base of the flagella in Chlamydomonas

Mol Biol Cell. 2013 Mar;24(5):588-600. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-10-0718. Epub 2013 Jan 2.


The length of Chlamydomonas flagella is tightly regulated. Mutations in four genes-LF1, LF2, LF3, and LF4-cause cells to assemble flagella up to three times wild-type length. LF2 and LF4 encode protein kinases. Here we describe a new gene, LF5, in which null mutations cause cells to assemble flagella of excess length. The LF5 gene encodes a protein kinase very similar in sequence to the protein kinase CDKL5. In humans, mutations in this kinase cause a severe form of juvenile epilepsy. The LF5 protein localizes to a unique location: the proximal 1 μm of the flagella. The proximal localization of the LF5 protein is lost when genes that make up the proteins in the cytoplasmic length regulatory complex (LRC)-LF1, LF2, and LF3-are mutated. In these mutants LF5p becomes localized either at the distal tip of the flagella or along the flagellar length, indicating that length regulation involves, at least in part, control of LF5p localization by the LRC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydomonas / genetics*
  • Chlamydomonas / growth & development
  • Epilepsy, Absence / genetics
  • Flagella / genetics*
  • Flagella / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • Transcription Factors
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CDKL5 protein, human