Abstract

 

The primary cilium is a microtubule-based structure projecting from a cell. Although the primary cilium shows no motility, it can recognize environmental stimuli. Thus, ciliary defects cause severe abnormalities called ciliopathies. Ciliogenesis is a very complex process and involves a myriad of components and regulators. In order to excavate the novel positive regulators of ciliogenesis, we performed mRNA microarray using starved NIH/3T3 cells. We selected 49 murine genes with corresponding human orthologs, with significantly upregulated expression 24h after serum withdrawal. Finally, calpain-6 was selected as a positive regulator of ciliogenesis. We found that calpain-6 deficiency reduced the percentage of ciliated cells and impaired sonic hedgehog signaling. It has been speculated that this defect might be associated with decreased levels of -tubulin acetylation at lysine 40. This is the first study to report a novel role of calpain-6 in the formation of primary cilia