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Eukaryotic Cell


Department of Biological Sciences


Numerous studies have indicated that the central apparatus plays a significant role in regulating flagellar motility, yet little is known about how the central pair of microtubules or their associated projections assemble. Several Chlamydomonas mutants are defective in central apparatus assembly. For example, mutant pf15 cells have paralyzed flagella that completely lack the central pair of microtubules. We have cloned the wild-type PF15 gene and confirmed its identity by rescuing the motility and ultrastructural defects in two pf15 alleles, the original pf15a mutant and a mutant generated by insertional mutagenesis. Database searches using the 798-amino-acid polypeptide predicted from the complete coding sequence indicate that the PF15 gene encodes the Chlamydomonas homologue of the katanin p80 subunit. Katanin was originally identified as a heterodimeric protein with a microtubule-severing activity. These results reveal a novel role for the katanin p80 subunit in the assembly and/or stability of the central pair of flagellar microtubules



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