Journal / Book Title
Ciliary microtubules (MTs) are extensively decorated with post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as glutamylation of tubulin tails. PTMs and tubulin isotype diversity act as a “Tubulin Code” that regulates cytoskeletal stability and the activity of MT-associated proteins such as kinesins. We previously showed that, in C. elegans cilia, the deglutamylase CCPP-1 affects ciliary ultrastructure, localization of the TRP channel PKD-2 and the kinesin-3 KLP-6, and velocity of kinesin-2 OSM-3/KIF17, while a cell-specific α-tubulin isotype regulates ciliary ultrastructure, intraflagellar transport, and ciliary functions of extracellular vesicle (EV)-releasing neurons. Here, we examine the role of PTMs and the Tubulin Code in the cililary specialization of EV-releasing neurons using genetics, fluorescence microscopy, kymography, electron microscopy, and sensory behavioral assays. Although the C. elegans genome encodes five tubulin tyrosine ligase-like (TTLL) glutamylases, only ttll-11 specifically regulates PKD-2 localization in EV- releasing neurons. In EV-releasing cephalic male (CEM) cilia, TTLL-11 and the deglutamylase CCPP-1 regulate remodeling of 9+0 MT doublets into 18 singlet MTs. Balanced TTLL-11 and CCPP-1 activity fine-tunes glutamylation to control velocity of kinesin-2 OSM-3/KIF17 and kinesin-3 KLP-6 without affecting the IFT kinesin-II. TTLL-11 is transported by ciliary motors. TTLL-11 and CCPP-1 are also required for the ciliary function of releasing bioactive EVs, and TTLL-11 is itself a novel EV cargo. Therefore, MT glutamylation, as part of the tubulin code, controls ciliary specialization, ciliary motor-based transport, and ciliary EV release in a living animal. We suggest that cell-specific control of MT glutamylation may be a conserved mechanism to specialize the form and function of cilia.
MSU Digital Commons Citation
O'Hagan, Robert; Silva, Malan; Nguyen, Ken CQ; Zhang, Winnie; Bellotti, Sebastian; Ramadan, Yasmin; Hall, David; and Barr, Maureen M., "Glutamylation regulates transport, specializes function, and sculpts the structure of cilia" (2017). Department of Biology Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 11.
O'Hagan et al, Curr Biol. 2017 November 20; 27(22): 3430–3441