Journal of cell science

Hsp90α forms a stable complex at the cilium neck for the interaction of signalling molecules in IGF-1 receptor signalling.

PMID 25359884


The primary cilium is composed of an axoneme that protrudes from the cell surface, a basal body beneath the membrane and a transition neck in between. It is a sensory organelle on the plasma membrane, involved in mediating extracellular signals. In the transition neck region of the cilium, the microtubules change from triplet to doublet microtubules. This region also contains the transition fibres that crosslink the axoneme with the membrane and the necklace proteins that regulate molecules being transported into and out of the cilium. In this protein-enriched, complex area it is important to maintain the correct assembly of all of these proteins. Here, through immunofluorescent staining and protein isolation, we identify the molecular chaperone Hsp90α clustered at the periciliary base. At the transition neck region, phosphorylated Hsp90α forms a stable ring around the axoneme. Heat shock treatment causes Hsp90α to dissipate and induces resorption of cilia. We further identify that Hsp90α at the transition neck region represents a signalling platform on which IRS-1 interacts with intracellular downstream signalling molecules involved in IGF-1 receptor signalling.