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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Characterization of the nephrocystin/nephrocystin-4 complex and subcellular localization of nephrocystin-4 to primary cilia and centrosomes.

Nephrocystin and nephrocystin-4 are newly identified proteins involved in familial juvenile nephronophthisis, an autosomal recessive nephropathy characterized by cyst formation and renal fibrosis. Nephrocystin is an adaptor protein that is able to associate with signaling molecules involved in cell adhesion and actin cytoskeleton organization, such as p130Cas, Pyk2, tensin and filamins. Nephrocystin was recently shown to interact and to co-localize with the microtubule component beta-tubulin to the primary cilia in renal epithelial cells, an organelle known to play a key role in the pathogenesis of cystic kidney diseases. In this study, we demonstrated that nephrocystin-4 also localizes to the primary cilia in polarized epithelial tubular cells, particularly at the basal bodies, and associates with microtubule component alpha-tubulin, suggesting a common role for the nephrocystin proteins in ciliary function. However, the co-localization of nephrocystin-4 with the microtubules is not restricted to the primary cilia, as nephrocystin-4 was also detected at the centrosomes of dividing cells and close to the cortical actin cytoskeleton in polarized cells. We also detected p130Cas and Pyk2 in the nephrocystin-4-containing complex, confirming the role of the nephrocystin proteins in cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion signaling events. Finally, we refined the structural and functional regions involved in the interaction between nephrocystin and nephrocystin-4. These data suggest that nephrocystin and nephrocystin-4 belong to a multifunctional complex localized in actin- and microtubule-based structures involved in cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion signaling as well as in cell division.[1]


  1. Characterization of the nephrocystin/nephrocystin-4 complex and subcellular localization of nephrocystin-4 to primary cilia and centrosomes. Mollet, G., Silbermann, F., Delous, M., Salomon, R., Antignac, C., Saunier, S. Hum. Mol. Genet. (2005) [Pubmed]
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