Subcellular localization of the voltage-gated K+ channel EGL-36 , a member of the KV3 subfamily, in the ciliated sensory neurons in C. elegans
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Delineated as the first cellular organelle in 1675 by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, cilia did not receive much attention until the 2000s, when it became apparent that cilia played a key role in the development of embryos, a variety of signaling pathways. Therefore, collective efforts by many scientists have led to the identification of many novel ciliopathy and cilia genes, while we are still far from disclosing the complete components of cilia.Here we used the ciliated sensory neurons in C. elegans as a model system that revealed the voltage-gated K+ channel EGL-36 (a member of the Shaw subfamily) as a new component associated with cilia. The confocal microscopy examination of fluorescence tagged EGL-36 together with ciliary (IFT-140) or transition zone (MKS-6) markers reveal that EGL-36 is only expressed in subsets of the ciliated sensory neurons, where it partially overlaps with the basal body signals and predominantly localizes to the periciliary membrane compartment. This expression pattern along with studies of egl-36 gain-of-function variants indicates that egl-36 is not essential for ciliogenesis in C. elegans. Our data identify the voltage-gated K+ channel EGL-36 as a new cilia-associated protein, and future studies should reveal the functional significance of EGL-36 in cilia biogenesis.