Simple Method To Characterize the Ciliary Proteome of Multiciliated Cells

J Proteome Res. 2020 Jan 3;19(1):391-400. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.9b00589. Epub 2019 Nov 18.


Motile cilia of multiciliated epithelial cells have important roles in animal development and cell homeostasis. Although several studies have identified and reported proteins localized in this complex organelle and the related immotile primary cilia from various cell types, it is still challenging to isolate high quantities of ciliary proteins for proteomic analysis. In this study, African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) embryos, which have many multiciliated cells in the epidermis, were treated with a simple ionic buffer to identify 1009 proteins conserved across vertebrates; these proteins were putatively localized in motile cilia. Using two ciliary proteome databases, we confirmed that previously validated cilia-associated proteins are highly enriched in our ciliary proteome. Proteins localized at the transition zone and Ellis-van Creveld zone, which are distinct regions at the base of cilia, near the junction with the apical cell surface, were isolated using our method. Among the newly identified ciliary proteins, we report that KRT17 may have an unrecognized function in motile cilia. Hence, the method developed in this study would be useful for understanding the ciliary proteome.

Keywords: DTBP; Xenopus laevis; cilia; multiciliated cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cilia / metabolism*
  • Cilia / physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Female
  • Keratin-17 / genetics
  • Keratin-17 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Xenopus / embryology
  • Xenopus Proteins / analysis*
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism
  • Xenopus laevis / embryology


  • Keratin-17
  • Xenopus Proteins