The EMBO journal

GEMC1 is a critical regulator of multiciliated cell differentiation.

PMID 26933123


The generation of multiciliated cells (MCCs) is required for the proper function of many tissues, including the respiratory tract, brain, and germline. Defects in MCC development have been demonstrated to cause a subclass of mucociliary clearance disorders termed reduced generation of multiple motile cilia (RGMC). To date, only two genes, Multicilin (MCIDAS) and cyclin O (CCNO) have been identified in this disorder in humans. Here, we describe mice lacking GEMC1 (GMNC), a protein with a similar domain organization as Multicilin that has been implicated in DNA replication control. We have found that GEMC1-deficient mice are growth impaired, develop hydrocephaly with a high penetrance, and are infertile, due to defects in the formation of MCCs in the brain, respiratory tract, and germline. Our data demonstrate that GEMC1 is a critical regulator of MCC differentiation and a candidate gene for human RGMC or related disorders.