INTRAFLAGELLAR TRANSPORT Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have for the first time seen a motor protein moving cargo during intracellular transport in a living organism. "This provides a potentially very exciting assay for studying motor proteins generally in vivo," says Jonathan M. Scholey, senior author of the study published recently in Nature (J.T. Orozco et al., "Movement of motor and cargo along cilia," Nature, 398:674, April 22, 1999). Using fluorescence microscopy, Scholey and colleagues observed heterotrimeric kinesin-II motor protein driving the antiretrograde transport of macromolecular complexes, known as rafts, along microtubule tracks from the base of the cilium to its distal tip. Then they watched as cytoplasmic dynein moved the rafts back in the retrograde direction in Caenorhabditis elegans. The ability to view intraflagellar transport (IFT) in organisms carrying mutations in the 25 genes essential for ciliary function in this system will also...

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