IFT (intraflagellar transport) assembles and maintains sensory cilia on the dendritic endings of chemosensory neurons within the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. During IFT, macromolecular protein complexes called IFT particles (which carry ciliary precursors) are moved from the base of the sensory cilium to its distal tip by anterograde IFT motors (kinesin-II and Osm-3 kinesin) and back to the base by retrograde IFT-dynein [Rosenbaum and Witman (2002) Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 3, 813–825; Scholey (2003) Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. 19, 423–443; and Snell, Pan and Wang (2004) Cell 117, 693–697]. In the present study, we describe the protein machinery of IFT in C. elegans, which we have analysed using time-lapse fluorescence microscopy of green fluorescent protein-fusion proteins in concert with ciliary mutants.

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