PACRG, a protein linked to ciliary motility, mediates cellular signaling

CM Loucks, NJ Bialas, MPJ (Martijn) Dekkers, DS Walker, LJ Grundy, CM Li, PN Inglis, K Kida, WR Schafer, OE Blacque, Gert Jansen, MR Leroux

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15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cilia are microtubule-based organelles that project from nearly all mammalian cell types. Motile cilia generate fluid flow, whereas nonmotile (primary) cilia are required for sensory physiology and modulate various signal transduction pathways. Here we investigate the nonmotile ciliary signaling roles of parkin coregulated gene (PACRG), a protein linked to ciliary motility. PACRG is associated with the protofilament ribbon, a structure believed to dictate the regular arrangement of motility-associated ciliary components. Roles for protofilament ribbon-associated proteins in nonmotile cilia and cellular signaling have not been investigated. We show that PACRG localizes to a small subset of nonmotile cilia in Caenorhabditis elegans, suggesting an evolutionary adaptation for mediating specific sensory/signaling functions. We find that it influences a learning behavior known as gustatory plasticity, in which it is functionally coupled to heterotrimeric G-protein signaling. We also demonstrate that PACRG promotes longevity in C. elegans by acting upstream of the lifespan-promoting FOXO transcription factor DAF-16 and likely upstream of insulin/IGF signaling. Our findings establish previously unrecognized sensory/signaling functions for PACRG and point to a role for this protein in promoting longevity. Furthermore, our work suggests additional ciliary motility-signaling connections, since EFHC1 (EF-hand containing 1), a potential PACRG interaction partner similarly associated with the protofilament ribbon and ciliary motility, also positively regulates lifespan.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)2133-2144
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Volume27
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Research programs

  • EMC MGC-02-13-02

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