New cilia and basal body proteins – from experiments to bioinformatics and back to experiments

Dorota WĹ‚oga

Cilium is a highly specialized, microtubule-based cells’ projection that originates from the basal body. Both structures, cilium and basal body, can be found in nearly all types of organisms from protists to mammals (with the exception of fungi and higher plants). Till recently, cilia were considered as locomotory organelles responsible for cell motility and fluid movement in multicellular organisms. Recent data indicate that cilia have also an important role in chemo- and mechanosensation, signal transduction, regulation of cell polarity and cell cycle control. The growing body of evidence shows that dysfunction or lack of cilia as well as defects in basal bodies are the cause of multiple human disorders, so-called, ciliopathies. Thus, these organelles, nearly neglected for almost a century, are now recognized as a key cell structures essential for the proper cell function and development of multicellular organisms. The assembly of cilia is an enormous task considering that these complex structures are built out of several hundred of proteins. Till now many of cilia and basal bodies proteins are not yet identified. Recent studies combining proteomic and bioinformatic analysis let to the identification of the new ciliary proteins and better understanding of the ethiology of some ciliopathies.