A Screen for Modifiers of Cilia Phenotypes Reveals Novel MKS Alleles and Uncovers a Specific Genetic Interaction between osm-3 and nphp-4.

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is a ciliopathy in which genetic modifiers may underlie the variable penetrance of clinical features. To identify modifiers, a screen was conducted on C. elegans nphp-4(tm925) mutants. Mutations in ten loci exacerbating nphp-4(tm925) ciliary defects were obtained. Four loci have been identified, three of which are established ciliopathy genes mks-1, mks-2, and mks-5. The fourth allele (yhw66) is a missense mutation (S316F) in OSM-3, a kinesin required for cilia distal segment assembly. While osm-3(yhw66) mutants alone have no overt cilia phenotype, nphp-4(tm925);osm-3(yhw66) double mutants lack distal segments and are dye-filling (Dyf) and osmotic avoidance (Osm) defective, similar to osm-3(mn357) null mutants. In osm-3(yhw66) mutants anterograde intraflagellar transport (IFT) velocity is reduced. Furthermore, expression of OSM-3(S316F)::GFP reduced IFT velocities in nphp-4(tm925) mutants, but not in wild type animals. In silico analysis indicates the S316F mutation may affect a phosphorylation site. Putative phospho-null OSM-3(S316F) and phospho-mimetic OSM-3(S316D) proteins accumulate at the cilia base and tip respectively. FRAP analysis indicates that the cilia entry rate of OSM-3(S316F) is slower than OSM-3 and that in the presence of OSM-3(S316F), OSM-3 and OSM-3(S316D) rates decrease. In the presence OSM-3::GFP or OSM-3(S316D)::GFP, OSM-3(S316F)::tdTomato redistributes along the cilium and accumulates in the cilia tip. OSM-3(S316F) and OSM-3(S316D) are functional as they restore cilia distal segment formation in osm-3(mn357) null mutants; however, only OSM-3(S316F) rescues the osm-3(mn357) null Dyf phenotype. Despite rescue of cilia length in osm-3(mn357) null mutants, neither OSM-3(S316F) nor OSM-3(S316D) restores ciliary defects in nphp-4(tm925);osm-3(yhw66) double mutants. Thus, these OSM-3 mutations cause NPHP-4 dependent and independent phenotypes. These data indicate that in addition to regulating cilia protein entry or exit, NPHP-4 influences localization and function of a distal ciliary kinesin. Moreover, data suggest human OSM-3 homolog (Kif17) could act as a modifying locus affecting disease penetrance or expressivity in NPHP patients.
  • Published In

  • PLoS Genetics  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Alleles, Animals, Caenorhabditis elegans, Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins, Cilia, Ciliary Motility Disorders, Encephalocele, Epistasis, Genetic, Genetic Complementation Test, Genetic Testing, Kinesin, Mutagenesis, Mutation, Phenotype, Phosphorylation, Polycystic Kidney Diseases, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Protein Transport, Retinitis Pigmentosa
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Masyukova SV; Landis DE; Henke SJ; Williams CL; Pieczynski JN; Roszczynialski KN; Covington JE; Malarkey EB; Yoder BK
  • Start Page

  • e1005841
  • Volume

  • 12
  • Issue

  • 2