Biophysics Journal Club

Microtubule doublets are double-track railways for intraflagellar transport trains

Tue, 19 Jul 2016 12:30 PM
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Biophysics Journal Club
Microtubule doublets are double-track railways for intraflagellar transport trains

Mike Kirkness
Simon Fraser University

Jul 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm in P8445.2


Ludek Stepanek and Gaia Pigino

Science 352, 721-724 (2016) (Issue of May 6, 2016)

Cilia contain a well-ordered array of microtubule doublets along their length. A longstanding question in cilium structure and function is why the microtubule arrangement in cilia is so complex. Stepanek and Pigino developed a time-resolved correlative fluorescence and three-dimensional electron microscopy method to show that the doublets provide directionality to intraflagellar transport. One microtubule in the pair moves cargoes up to the ciliary tip. Meanwhile, the other microtubule moves cargoes back to the cell body. These results explain why the axoneme is built out of microtubule doublets and suggest a mechanistic picture of how the logistics of bidirectional intraflagellar transport are regulated.