The photoreceptor outer segment (OS), a well-defined sensory cilium, provides an important context for the study of intraflagellar transport (IFT). The early phases of OS development involve successive events that are common to virtually all cilia. Additionally, intense protein trafficking occurs through the cilium and relies on IFT to maintain proper cellular morphology and optimize the photosensitive function. In the past decade, progress has been made in the characterization of photoreceptor OS trafficking in murine and amphibian models. Recently, powerful and cost-effective molecular tools and techniques for zebrafish have opened new opportunities to study photoreceptor IFT. Studies using zebrafish take advantage of its rapid embryogenesis to characterize the early events involved in photoreceptor ciliogenesis and OS assembly. In this overview, we describe phenotypes associated with knockdown strategies or genetic mutations of IFT components in zebrafish and detail a general experimental approach that has enabled us to study the function of the two anterograde IFT motors, KIF17 and kinesin II, in zebrafish cone photoreceptors. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology