Nested genes CDA12 and CDA13 encode proteins associated with membrane trafficking in the ciliate tetrahymena thermophila


We describe a novel pair of nested genes, CDA12 and CDA13, from Tetrahymena thermophila. Both are implicated in membrane trafficking associated with cell division and conjugation. Green fluorescent protein localization reveals Cda12p decoration of diverse membrane-bound compartments, including mobile, subcortical tubulovesicular compartments; perinuclear vesicles; and candidates for recycling endosomes. Cda13p decorates intracellular foci located adjacent to cortically aligned mitochondria and their neighboring Golgi networks. The expression of antisense CDA12 RNA in transformants produces defects in cytokinesis, macronuclear segregation, and the processing of pinosomes to downstream compartments. Antisense CDA13 RNA expression produces a conjugation phenotype, resulting in the failure of mating pairs to separate, as well as failures in postconjugation cytokinesis and macronuclear fission. This study offers insight into the membrane trafficking events linking endosóme and Golgi network activities, cytokinesis, and karyokinesis and the unique membrane-remodeling events that accompany conjugation in the ciliate T. thermophila. We also highlight an unusual aspect of genome organization in Tetrahymena, namely, the existence of nested, antisense genes.


Biomedical Sciences

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Eukaryotic Cell