Basal body multipotency and axonemal remodelling are two pathways to a 9+0 flagellum

Wheeler, R.J., Gluenz, E. and Gull, K. (2015) Basal body multipotency and axonemal remodelling are two pathways to a 9+0 flagellum. Nature Communications, 6, 8964. (doi: 10.1038/ncomms9964) (PMID:26667778) (PMCID:PMC4682162)

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Eukaryotic cilia/flagella exhibit two characteristic ultrastructures reflecting two main functions; a 9+2 axoneme for motility and a 9+0 axoneme for sensation and signalling. Whether, and if so how, they interconvert is unclear. Here we analyse flagellum length, structure and molecular composition changes in the unicellular eukaryotic parasite Leishmania during the transformation of a life cycle stage with a 9+2 axoneme (the promastigote) to one with a 9+0 axoneme (the amastigote). We show 9+0 axonemes can be generated by two pathways: by de novo formation and by restructuring of existing 9+2 axonemes associated with decreased intraflagellar transport. Furthermore, pro-basal bodies formed under conditions conducive for 9+2 axoneme formation can form a 9+0 axoneme de novo. We conclude that pro-centrioles/pro-basal bodies are multipotent and not committed to form either a 9+2 or 9+0 axoneme. In an alternative pathway structures can also be removed from existing 9+2 axonemes to convert them to 9+0.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:R.J.W. is supported by a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Wellcome Fellowship. E.G. is supported by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. K.G. is supported by a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator grant.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gluenz, Dr Eva
Authors: Wheeler, R.J., Gluenz, E., and Gull, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Springer Nature Limited
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 6:8964
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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