Primary cilia are hair-like microtubule-based organelles that can be found on almost all human cell types. Although the cilium is not separated from the cell by membranes, their content is different from that of the cell body and their membrane composition is distinct from that of the plasma membrane. Here, we will introduce a molecular machinery that shuttles and sorts lipid-modified proteins to the cilium, thus contributing in maintaining its distinct composition. The mechanism involves the binding of the GDI-like solubilising factors, uncoordinated (UNC)119a, UNC119b and PDE6D, to the lipid-modified ciliary cargo and the specific release of the cargo in the cilia by the ciliary small G-protein Arl3 in a GTP-dependent manner.
Keywords: G-proteins; cilia; trafficking.
© 2016 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.