Ciliary Genes

Cilia are an antenna like organelle whose inner basic structure consists of a microtubule-based cytoskeleton namely the ciliary axoneme. Cilia extend from most of cell surfaces, where they act as sensor, perform motility function and regulate embryo development.We employ bioinformatic approaches to identify the unknown ciliary genes that build cilia and transition zone. We use C. elegans as the primary model organism to confirm the expression and localization of candidate ciliary genes in the ciliated sensory neurons.

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Our lab is interested in ciliopathy, over 30 of different human diseases resulting from functional and/or structural defects in cilia. To date, mutations in over 100 different genes have been identified to cause ciliopathy diseases. When any of these 100 genes, which encode proteins localized to cilia, basal body and/or transition zone, is mutated, the structural and/or functional abnormalities in cilia occur, thus leading to a range of symptoms observed in ciliopathy. Joubert syndrome (JS [MIM 213300]) is a ciliopathy disorder with an occurrence of approximately 1/100 000 live births.

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Double staining: Cilia labelling could be observed for IFT57 (Red, CHE-13) in the ciliated sensory PHA/PHB neurons.Marker labelled in red is a ciliary marker. A new ciliary gene (Green) co-localized with IFT57 (Red). Ciliopathies are caused by defects in the cilia structure or function. Cilia are highly conserved microtubule-based organelles. For this reason, we employ the nematode C. elegans to characterise the roles of ciliopathy-associated genes. We have been using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to model human diseases in C. elegans . With the help of CRISPR, we have recently generated our first CRISPR mutant and are currently performing functional analysis of a novel ciliary gene.


  • TUBITAK 1001 Funding
  • New Funding From TUBITAK! 2018
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  • Congrats Oktay On Your Startup Funding! 2018
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  • Dr. Oktay co-organized CRISPR/Cas9 workshop at Uskudar University. Detailed Info
  • Enes Cicek, an undergradute student, is accepted by Dr. Marina Ezcurra as a summer student and will spend his summer in the laboratory of School of Biological and Chemical Sciences,QMUL,UK.
  • Sebiha attended the 2017 Genie Meeting in Prague, the Czech Republic.View the Page
  • We are pleased to host a short-term visitor, Dr. Faouzi Dahdouh, to our lab. (November 2017)
  • High school student Uluç Kadıoğlu and biology teacher Belgin Oguzalp from SEV Amercan College, Istanbul have paid a visit to our lab to learn C. elegans techniques. (November 2017)
  • A new graduate student Ferhan Yenisert joined the lab. Welcome Ferhan! (September 2017)
  • Our lab welcome two summer interns Atiye Kılıç and Sinem Uyar (2017 Summer)
  • Sebiha secured internal funding from AGU. Well done Sebiha! (2016)