The tubulin code specializes neuronal cilia for extracellular vesicle release

Jyothi S. Akella, Maureen M. Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Cilia are microtubule-based organelles that display diversity in morphology, ultrastructure, protein composition, and function. The ciliary microtubules of C. elegans sensory neurons exemplify this diversity and provide a paradigm to understand mechanisms driving ciliary specialization. Only a subset of ciliated neurons in C. elegans are specialized to make and release bioactive extracellular vesicles (EVs) into the environment. The cilia of extracellular vesicle releasing neurons have distinct axonemal features and specialized intraflagellar transport that are important for releasing EVs. In this review, we discuss the role of the tubulin code in the specialization of microtubules in cilia of EV releasing neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-252
Number of pages22
JournalDevelopmental Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • C. elegans
  • cilia
  • ciliopathy
  • extracellular vesicle
  • glutamylation
  • intraflagellar transport
  • kinesin
  • microtubule
  • post-translational modifications
  • tubulin code


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