Dynamin Binding Protein (Tuba) Deficiency Inhibits Ciliogenesis and Nephrogenesis in Vitro and in Vivo

J Biol Chem. 2016 Apr 15;291(16):8632-43. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.688663. Epub 2016 Feb 19.


Dysfunction of renal primary cilia leads to polycystic kidney disease. We previously showed that the exocyst, a protein trafficking complex, is essential for ciliogenesis and regulated by multiple Rho and Rab family GTPases, such as Cdc42. Cdc42 deficiency resulted in a disruption of renal ciliogenesis and a polycystic kidney disease phenotype in zebrafish and mice. Here we investigate the role of Dynamin binding protein (also known as Tuba), a Cdc42-specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor, in ciliogenesis and nephrogenesis using Tuba knockdown Madin-Darby canine kidney cells and tuba knockdown in zebrafish. Tuba depletion resulted in an absence of cilia, with impaired apical polarization and inhibition of hepatocyte growth factor-induced tubulogenesis in Tuba knockdown Madin-Darby canine kidney cell cysts cultured in a collagen gel. In zebrafish, tuba was expressed in multiple ciliated organs, and, accordingly, tuba start and splice site morphants showed various ciliary mutant phenotypes in these organs. Co-injection of tuba and cdc42 morpholinos at low doses, which alone had no effect, resulted in genetic synergy and led to abnormal kidney development with highly disorganized pronephric duct cilia. Morpholinos targeting two other guanine nucleotide exchange factors not known to be in the Cdc42/ciliogenesis pathway and a scrambled control morpholino showed no phenotypic effect. Given the molecular nature of Cdc42 and Tuba, our data strongly suggest that tuba and cdc42 act in the same ciliogenesis pathway. Our study demonstrates that Tuba deficiency causes an abnormal renal ciliary and morphogenetic phenotype. Tuba most likely plays a critical role in ciliogenesis and nephrogenesis by regulating Cdc42 activity.

Keywords: CDC42; cilia; guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF); kidney; membrane trafficking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cilia / genetics
  • Cilia / metabolism
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dogs
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Kidney / embryology*
  • Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells
  • Mice
  • Organogenesis / physiology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins / metabolism*
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / genetics
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein