Cilia/flagella are assembled and maintained by the process of intraflagellar transport (IFT), a highly conserved mechanism involving more than 20 IFT proteins. However, the functions of individual IFT proteins are mostly unclear. To help address this issue, we focused on a putative IFT protein TTC26/DYF13. Using live imaging and biochemical approaches we show that TTC26/DYF13 is an IFT complex B protein in mammalian cells and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Knockdown of TTC26/DYF13 in zebrafish embryos or mutation of TTC26/DYF13 in C. reinhardtii, produced short cilia with abnormal motility. Surprisingly, IFT particle assembly and speed were normal in dyf13 mutant flagella, unlike in other IFT complex B mutants. Proteomic and biochemical analyses indicated a particular set of proteins involved in motility was specifically depleted in the dyf13 mutant. These results support the concept that different IFT proteins are responsible for different cargo subsets, providing a possible explanation for the complexity of the IFT machinery. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01566.001.
Keywords: Chlamydomonas; axoneme; dynein; flagella.