Journal of cell science

Ciliated sensory hair cell formation and function require the F-BAR protein syndapin I and the WH2 domain-based actin nucleator Cobl.

PMID 23203810


During development, general body plan information must be translated into distinct morphologies of individual cells. Shaping cells is thought to involve cortical cytoskeletal components and Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs167 (BAR) superfamily proteins. We therefore conducted comprehensive side-by-side loss-of-function studies of zebrafish orthologs of the F-BAR protein syndapin I and the actin nucleator Cobl. Zebrafish syndapin I associates with Cobl. The loss-of-function phenotypes of these proteins were remarkably similar and suggested a common function. Both cobl- and syndapin I-morphant fish showed severe swimming and balance-keeping defects, reflecting an impaired organization and function of the lateral line organ. Their lateral line organs lacked several neuromasts and showed an impaired functionality of the sensory hair cells within the neuromasts. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that sensory hair cells of both cobl- and syndapin I-morphant animals showed defects in the formation of both microtubule-dependent kinocilia and F-actin-rich stereocilia. Consistent with the kinocilia defects in sensory hair cells, body length was shortened and the development of body laterality, a process depending on motile cilia, was also impaired. Interestingly, Cobl and syndapin I both localized to the base of forming cilia. Rescue experiments demonstrated that proper formation of ciliated sensory hair cell rosettes relied on Cobl's syndapin I-binding Cobl homology domain, the actin-nucleating C-terminus of Cobl and the membrane curvature-inducing F-BAR domain of syndapin I. Our data thus suggest that the formation of distinct types of ciliary structures relies on membrane topology-modulating mechanisms that are based on F-BAR domain functions and on complex formation of syndapin I with the actin nucleator Cobl.