C. elegans PKD-Targeted Services

The Model Systems Core provides services using C. elegans to PKD researchers both at Mayo Clinic and at other institutions.

Because it's difficult to study cilia biology and the connections among cilia formation, sensory function and disease in mammalian model organisms, alternative experimental systems such as C. elegans are necessary.

With its evolutionarily conserved PKD genes, polycystin ciliary localization and polycystin sensory function, C. elegans is a powerful model for characterizing the physiological roles of PKD genes in their native cellular environment.


The Model Systems Core offers several C. elegans PKD-targeted services:

  • Small-molecular or RNAi screening for cystic phenotype effects, such as mating behavior and dye filling [1]
  • Characterization of the role of genes of interest in polycystin signaling [2, 3, 4]
  • Screens for deletion mutants of worm homologues of interesting mammalian genes
  • Training on C. elegans-related technologies, including cilia structure and function, worm genetics, and whole-genome mutagenesis and high-throughput RNAi screenings

Related publications

  1. Barr MM, Sternberg PW. A polycystic kidney-disease gene homologue required for male mating behaviour in C. elegans. Nature. 1999; doi:10.1038/43913.
  2. Xu Q, Zhang Y, Wei Q, Huang Y, Li Y, Ling K, Hu J. BBS4 and BBS5 show functional redundancy in the BBSome to regulate the degradative sorting of ciliary sensory receptors. Scientific Reports. 2015; doi:10.1038/srep11855.
  3. He K, Ma X, Xu T, Li Y, Hodge A, Zhang Q, Torline J, Huang Y, Zhao J, Ling K, Hu J. Axoneme polyglutamylation regulated by Joubert syndrome protein ARL13B controls ciliary targeting of signaling molecules. Nature Communications. 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05867-1.
  4. Wei Q, Zhang Y, Schouteden C, Zhang Y, Zhang Q, Dong J, Wonesch V, Ling K, Dammermann A, Hu J. The hydrolethalus syndrome protein HYLS-1 regulates formation of the ciliary gate. Nature Communications. 2016; doi:10.1038/ncomms12437.

Available lines

The Model Systems Core offers dozens of PKD-related mutants and GFP-tagged transgenic animals expressing the polycystins and other ciliary markers frozen in the core.


Email us for more information about C. elegans PKD services and available lines.