The roles of evolutionarily conserved functional modules in cilia-related trafficking

Nat Cell Biol. 2013 Dec;15(12):1387-97. doi: 10.1038/ncb2888.


Cilia are present across most eukaryotic phyla and have diverse sensory and motility roles in animal physiology, cell signalling and development. Their biogenesis and maintenance depend on vesicular and intraciliary (intraflagellar) trafficking pathways that share conserved structural and functional modules. The functional units of the interconnected pathways, which include proteins involved in membrane coating as well as small GTPases and their accessory factors, were first experimentally associated with canonical vesicular trafficking. These components are, however, ancient, having been co-opted by the ancestral eukaryote to establish the ciliary organelle, and their study can inform us about ciliary biology in higher organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Centrioles / physiology
  • Cilia / physiology*
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Flagella / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Protein Transport
  • Transport Vesicles / metabolism