Functional characterization of tektin-1 in motile cilia and evidence for TEKT1 as a new candidate gene for motile ciliopathies

Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Jan 15;27(2):266-282. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx396.


A child presenting with Mainzer-Saldino syndrome (MZSDS), characterized by renal, retinal and skeletal involvements, was also diagnosed with lung infections and airway ciliary dyskinesia. These manifestations suggested dysfunction of both primary and motile cilia, respectively. Targeted exome sequencing identified biallelic mutations in WDR19, encoding an IFT-A subunit previously associated with MZSDS-related chondrodysplasia, Jeune asphyxiating thoracic dysplasia and cranioectodermal dysplasia, linked to primary cilia dysfunction, and in TEKT1 which encodes tektin-1 an uncharacterized member of the tektin family, mutations of which may cause ciliary dyskinesia. Tektin-1 localizes at the centrosome in cycling cells, at basal bodies of both primary and motile cilia and to the axoneme of motile cilia in airway cells. The identified mutations impaired these localizations. In addition, airway cells from the affected individual showed severe motility defects without major ultrastructural changes. Knockdown of tekt1 in zebrafish resulted in phenotypes consistent with a function for tektin-1 in ciliary motility, which was confirmed by live imaging. Finally, experiments in the zebrafish also revealed a synergistic effect of tekt1 and wdr19. Altogether, our data show genetic interactions between WDR19 and TEKT1 likely contributing to the overall clinical phenotype observed in the affected individual and provide strong evidence for TEKT1 as a new candidate gene for primary ciliary dyskinesia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / abnormalities
  • Cerebellar Ataxia / genetics
  • Child
  • Cilia / genetics*
  • Ciliary Motility Disorders / genetics
  • Ciliopathies / genetics*
  • Ciliopathies / metabolism
  • Craniosynostoses / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Ectodermal Dysplasia / genetics
  • Exome
  • Exome Sequencing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Microtubule Proteins / genetics*
  • Microtubule Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa / genetics
  • Zebrafish / genetics


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Microtubule Proteins
  • Proteins
  • WDR19 protein, human
  • tektins

Supplementary concepts

  • Cranioectodermal Dysplasia
  • Mainzer-Saldino Disease