Document Type




Format of Original

12 p.

Publication Date



American Society for Cell Biology

Source Publication

Molecular Biology of the Cell

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1091/mbc.E04-09-0787; PubMed Central, PMCID: PMC545900


The radial spoke is a stable structural complex in the 9 + 2 axoneme for the control of flagellar motility. However, the spokes in Chlamydomonas mutant pf24 are heterogeneous and unstable, whereas several spoke proteins are reduced differentially. To elucidate the defective mechanism, we clone RSP16, a prominent spoke protein diminished in pf24 axonemes. Unexpectedly, RSP16 is a novel HSP40 member of the DnaJ superfamily that assists chaperones in various protein-folding-related processes. Importantly, RSP16 is uniquely excluded from the 12S spoke precursor complex that is packaged in the cell body and transported toward the flagellar tip to be converted into mature 20S axonemal spokes. Rather, RSP16, transported separately, joins the precursor complex in flagella. Furthermore, RSP16 molecules in vitro and in flagella form homodimers, a characteristic required for the cochaperone activity of HSP40. We postulate that the spoke HSP40 operates as a cochaperone to assist chaperone machinery at the flagellar tip to actively convert the smaller spoke precursor and itself into the mature stable complex; failure of the interaction between the spoke HSP40 and its target polypeptide results in heterogeneous unstable radial spokes in pf24.


Published version. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 16, No. 2 (February 2005): 637-648. DOI. © American Society for Cell Biology 2005. Used with permission.

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