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Primary cilia are complex organelles, usually singularly located on cell surfaces that are now known to be important for signaling and whose defect is implicated in a category of developmental diseases known as ciliopathies. They are composed of a microtubule axoneme and contain a cilia membrane that is unique and distinct from the plasma membrane. Primary cilia also have their own transport system termed the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system that allows for proteins to be trafficked along the microtubule axoneme in either an anterograde or retrograde manner. Proteins that localize to the primary cilium are referred to as ciliary proteins and have been implicated directly or indirectly in ciliogenesis or ciliary function. It is now recognized that cilia proteins can localize to different compartments of cilia, but can also localize to multiple sites outside of cilia (extraciliary sites). This complexity results in a need for a better understanding of ciliary protein fixation and immunolabeling protocols, as different methods are required to visualize different cilia proteins and reveal novel or unique localizations. Here, we detail a variety of fixation methods and their effects on ciliary protein immunolabeling. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Kiet Hua, Russell J Ferland. Fixation methods and immunolabeling for cilia proteins in ciliary and extraciliary locations. Methods in cell biology. 2023;176:43-57

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PMID: 37164542

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