Distinct functions for IFT140 and IFT20 in opsin transport

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Biochemistry | Cell Anatomy | Cell Biology


In the vertebrate retina, light is detected by the outer segments of photoreceptor rods and cones, which are highly modified cilia. Like other cilia, outer segments have no protein synthetic capacity and depend on proteins made in the cell body for their formation and maintenance. The mechanism of transport into the outer segment is not fully understood but intraflagellar transport (IFT) is thought to be a major mechanism for moving protein from the cell body into the cilium. In the case of photoreceptor cells, the high density of receptors and the disk turnover that occurs daily necessitates much higher rates of transport than would be required in other cilia. In this work, we show that the IFT complex A protein IFT140 is required for development and maintenance of outer segments. In earlier work we found that acute deletion of Ift20 caused opsin to accumulate at the Golgi complex. In this work, we find that acute deletion of Ift140 does not cause opsin to accumulate at the Golgi complex but rather it accumulates in the plasma membrane of the inner segments. This work is a strong support of a model of opsin transport where IFT20 is involved in the movement from the Golgi complex to the base of the cilium. Then, once at the base, the opsin is carried through the connecting cilium by an IFT complex that includes IFT140. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Cilia, flagella, intraflagellar transport, photoreceptor, vision

DOI of Published Version



Crouse JA, Lopes VS, Sanagustin JT, Keady BT, Williams DS, Pazour GJ. Distinct functions for IFT140 and IFT20 in opsin transport. Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2014 Mar 25:1-9. doi: 10.1002/cm.21173. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cytoskeleton (Hoboken, N.J.)

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID