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Tailing Tuba
14 July 2016

Tailing Tuba

Cilia are finger-like protrusions on cells that work as sensors to help monitor and regulate the molecules that flow in and out of our cells. Within kidney cells, defective cilia can cause kidney disease. In a zebrafish model of kidney disease, researchers disrupted a protein called Tuba – which plays an important role in the molecular process of cilia function – and saw that this led to abnormal kidney development. Because cilia are present in a number of different organs, researchers also found that disrupting Tuba caused the build-up of fluid in the brain, swelling in the eyes, fluid build-up in the abdomen and a curly tail (pictured in bottom two rows compared with normal zebrafish in top two rows). Further understanding into how cilia become dysfunctional in these different organs will allow better insights into treating a wide range of conditions.

Written by Katie Panteli

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BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

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