Individual cell types can elaborate morphologically diverse cilia. Cilia are assembled via intraflagellar transport (IFT) of ciliary precursors; however, the mechanisms that generate ciliary diversity are unknown. Here, we examine IFT in the structurally distinct cilia of the ASH/ASI and the AWB chemosensory neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans, enabling us to compare IFT in specific cilia types. We show that unlike in the ASH/ASI cilia, the OSM-3 kinesin moves independently of the kinesin-II motor in the AWB cilia. Although OSM-3 is essential to extend the distal segments of the ASH/ASI cilia, it is not required to build the AWB distal segments. Mutations in the fkh-2 forkhead domain gene result in AWB-specific defects in ciliary morphology, and FKH-2 regulates kinesin-II subunit gene expression specifically in AWB. Our results suggest that cell-specific regulation of IFT contributes to the generation of ciliary diversity, and provide insights into the networks coupling the acquisition of ciliary specializations with other aspects of cell fate.
- C. elegans
- Forkhead domain
- Intraflagellar transport
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)