Basal foot MTOC organizes pillar MTs required for coordination of beating cilia



Clare DK, Magescas J, Piolot T, Dumoux M, Vesque C, Pichard E, Dang T, Duvauchelle B, Poirier F, Delacour D.



Nat Commun.

2014 Sep 12


Coordination of ciliary beating is essential to ensure mucus clearance in the airway tract. The orientation and synchronization of ciliary motion responds in part to the organization of the underlying cytoskeletal networks. Using electron tomography on mouse trachea, we show that basal bodies are collectively hooked at the cortex by a regular microtubule array composed of 4–5 microtubules. Removal of galectin-3, one of basal-body components, provokes misrecruitment of γ-tubulin, disorganization of this microtubule framework emanating from the basal-foot cap, together with loss of basal-body alignment and cilium orientation, defects in cilium organization and reduced fluid flow in the tracheal lumen. We conclude that galectin-3 plays a crucial role in the maintenance of the microtubule-organizing centre of the cilium and the ‘pillar’ microtubules, and that this network is instrumental for the coordinated orientation and stabilization of motile cilia.