IFT20 is required for opsin trafficking and photoreceptor outer segment development.

Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.
Molecular biology of the cell (Impact Factor: 5.98). 02/2011; 22(7):921-30. DOI: 10.1091/mbc.E10-09-0792
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The light-detecting outer segments of vertebrate photoreceptors are cilia. Like other cilia, all materials needed for assembly and maintenance are synthesized in the cell body and transported into the cilium. The highly elaborated nature of the outer segment and its high rate of turnover necessitate unusually high levels of transport into the cilium. In this work, we examine the role of the IFT20 subunit of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) particle in photoreceptor cells. IFT20 was deleted in developing cones by a cone-specific Cre and in mature rods and cones by a tamoxifen-activatable Cre. Loss of IFT20 during cone development leads to opsin accumulation in the inner segment even when the connecting cilium and outer segment are still intact. With time this causes cone cell degeneration. Similarly, deletion of IFT20 in mature rods causes rapid accumulation of rhodopsin in the cell body, where it is concentrated at the Golgi complex. We further show that IFT20, acting both as part of the IFT particle and independent of the particle, binds to rhodopsin and RG-opsin. Since IFT20 dynamically moves between the Golgi complex and the connecting cilium, the current work suggests that rhodopsin and opsins are cargo for IFT transport.

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    ABSTRACT: Vertebrate hedgehog signaling is coordinated by the differential localization of the receptors patched-1 and Smoothened in the primary cilium. Cilia assembly is mediated by intraflagellar transport (IFT), and cilia defects disrupt hedgehog signaling, causing many structural birth defects. We generated Ift25 and Ift27 knockout mice and show that they have structural birth defects indicative of hedgehog signaling dysfunction. Surprisingly, ciliary assembly is not affected, but abnormal hedgehog signaling is observed in conjunction with ciliary accumulation of patched-1 and Smoothened. Similarly, Smoothened accumulates in cilia on cells mutated for BBSome components or the BBS binding protein/regulator Lztfl1. Interestingly, the BBSome and Lztfl1 accumulate to high levels in Ift27 mutant cilia. Because Lztfl1 mutant cells accumulate BBSome but not IFT27, it is likely that Lztfl1 functions downstream of IFT27 to couple the BBSome to the IFT particle for coordinated removal of patched-1 and Smoothened from cilia during hedgehog signaling. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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