Primary cilia are antenna-like sensory organelles protruding from the plasma membrane. Defects in ciliogenesis cause diverse genetic disorders. NDR2 was identified as the causal gene for a canine ciliopathy, early retinal degeneration, but its role in ciliogenesis remains unknown. Ciliary membranes are generated by transport and fusion of Golgi-derived vesicles to the pericentrosome, a process requiring Rab11-mediated recruitment of Rabin8, a GDP-GTP exchange factor (GEF) for Rab8, and subsequent Rab8 activation and Rabin8 binding to Sec15, a component of the exocyst that mediates vesicle tethering. This study shows that NDR2 phosphorylates Rabin8 at Ser-272 and defects in this phosphorylation impair preciliary membrane assembly and ciliogenesis, resulting in accumulation of Rabin8-/Rab11-containing vesicles at the pericentrosome. Rabin8 binds to and colocalizes with GTP-bound Rab11 and phosphatidylserine (PS) on pericentrosomal vesicles. The phospho-mimetic S272E mutation of Rabin8 decreases affinity for PS but increases affinity for Sec15. These results suggest that NDR2-mediated Rabin8 phosphorylation is crucial for ciliogenesis by triggering the switch in binding specificity of Rabin8 from PS to Sec15, thereby promoting local activation of Rab8 and ciliary membrane formation.
- NDR kinase