Interactions between TULP3 tubby domain and ARL13B amphipathic helix promote lipidated protein transport to cilia

Vivek Reddy Palicharla, Sun Hee Hwang, Bandarigoda N. Somatilaka, Emilie Legué, Issei S. Shimada, Nicole E. Familiari, Vanna M. Tran, Jeffrey B. Woodruff, Karel F. Liem, Saikat Mukhopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The primary cilium is a nexus for cell signaling and relies on specific protein trafficking for function. The tubby family protein TULP3 transports integral membrane proteins into cilia through interactions with the intraflagellar transport complex-A (IFT-A) and phosphoinositides. It was previously shown that short motifs called ciliary localization sequences (CLSs) are necessary and sufficient for TULP3-dependent ciliary trafficking of transmembrane cargoes. However, the mechanisms by which TULP3 regulates ciliary compartmentalization of nonintegral, membrane-associated proteins and whether such trafficking requires TULP3-dependent CLSs is unknown. Here we show that TULP3 is required for ciliary transport of the Joubert syndrome-linked palmitoylated GTPase ARL13B through a CLS. An N-terminal amphipathic helix, preceding the GTPase domain of ARL13B, couples with the TULP3 tubby domain for ciliary trafficking, irrespective of palmitoylation. ARL13B transport requires TULP3 binding to IFT-A but not to phosphoinositides, indicating strong membrane-proximate interactions, unlike transmembrane cargo transport requiring both properties of TULP3. TULP3-mediated trafficking of ARL13B also regulates ciliary enrichment of farnesylated and myristoylated downstream effectors of ARL13B. The lipidated cargoes show distinctive depletion kinetics from kidney epithelial cilia with relation to Tulp3 deletion-induced renal cystogenesis. Overall, these findings indicate an expanded role of the tubby domain in capturing analogous helical secondary structural motifs from diverse cargoes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)ar18
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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