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The oral-facial-digital syndrome gene C2CD3 encodes a positive regulator of centriole elongation

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Centrioles are microtubule-based, barrel-shaped structures that initiate the assembly of centrosomes and cilia. How centriole length is precisely set remains elusive. The microcephaly protein CPAP (also known as MCPH6) promotes procentriole growth, whereas the oral-facial-digital (OFD) syndrome protein OFD1 represses centriole elongation. Here we uncover a new subtype of OFD with severe microcephaly and cerebral malformations and identify distinct mutations in two affected families in the evolutionarily conserved C2CD3 gene. Concordant with the clinical overlap, C2CD3 colocalizes with OFD1 at the distal end of centrioles, and C2CD3 physically associates with OFD1. However, whereas OFD1 deletion leads to centriole hyperelongation, loss of C2CD3 results in short centrioles without subdistal and distal appendages. Because C2CD3 overexpression triggers centriole hyperelongation and OFD1 antagonizes this activity, we propose that C2CD3 directly promotes centriole elongation and that OFD1 acts as a negative regulator of C2CD3. Our results identify regulation of centriole length as an emerging pathogenic mechanism in ciliopathies.

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