ICK is essential for cell type-specific ciliogenesis and the regulation of ciliary transport

Cilia and flagella are formed and maintained by intraflagellar transport (IFT) and play important roles in sensing and moving across species. At the distal tip of the cilia/flagella, IFT complexes turn around to switch from anterograde to retrograde transport, however, the underlying regulatory mechanism is unclear. Here, we identified ICK kinase localization at the tip of cilia as a regulator of ciliary transport. In ICK-deficient mice, we found ciliary defects in neuronal progenitor cells with Hedgehog signal defects. ICK-deficient cells formed cilia with mislocalized Hedgehog signaling components. Loss of ICK caused the accumulation of IFT-A, IFT-B, and BBSome components at the ciliary tips. In contrast, overexpression of ICK induced the strong accumulation of IFT-B but not IFT-A or BBSome components at ciliary tips. In addition, ICK directly phosphorylated Kif3a, while inhibition of this Kif3a phosphorylation affected ciliary formation. Our results suggest that ICK is a Kif3a kinase and essential for proper ciliogenesis in development by regulating ciliary transport at the tip of cilia.

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