Defective flagellar assembly and length regulation in LF3 null mutants in Chlamydomonas

Lai Wa Tam, William L. Dentler, Paul A. Lefebvre

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38 Scopus citations


Four long-flagella (LF) genes are important for flagellar length control in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Here, we characterize two new null If3 mutants whose phenotypes are different from previously identified If3 mutants. These null mutants have unequal-length flagella that assemble more slowly than wild-type flagella, though their flagella can also reach abnormally long lengths. Prominent bulges are found at the distal ends of short, long, and regenerating flagella of these mutants. Analysis of the flagella by electron and immunofluorescence microscopy and by Western blots revealed that the bulges contain intraflagellar transport complexes, a defect reported previously (for review see Cole, D.G., 2003. Traffic. 4:435-442) in a subset of mutants defective in intraflagellar transport. We have cloned the wild-type LF3 gene and characterized a hypomorphic mutant allele of LF3. LF3p is a novel protein located predominantly in the cell body. It cosediments with the product of the LF1 gene in sucrose density gradients, indicating that these proteins may form a functional complex to regulate flagellar length and assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-607
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 10 2003


  • Cilia
  • Intraflagellar transport
  • Organelle size control
  • Unequal-length flagella


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