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Cold-shock proteins accumulate in centrosomes and their expression and primary cilium morphology are regulated by hypothermia and shear stress.

Primary cilia act as cellular sensors for multiple extracellular stimuli and regulate many intracellular signaling pathways in response. Here we investigate whether the cold-shock proteins (CSPs), CIRP and RBM3, are present in the primary cilia and the physiological consequences of such a relationship. R28, an immortalized retinal precursor cell line, was stained with antibodies against CIRP, RBM3, and ciliary markers. Both CSPs were found in intimate contact with the basal body of the cilium during all stages of the cell cycle, including migrating with the centrosome during mitosis. In addition, the morphological and physiological manifestations of exposing the cells to hypothermia and shear stress were investigated. Exposure to moderately cold (32°C) temperatures, the hypothermia mimetic small molecule zr17-2, or to shear stress resulted in a significant reduction in the number and length of primary cilia. In addition, shear stress induced expression of CIRP and RBM3 in a complex pattern depending on the specific protein, flow intensity, and type of flow (laminar versus oscillatory). Flow-mediated CSP overexpression was detected by qRT-PCR and confirmed by Western blot, at least for CIRP. Furthermore, analysis of public RNA Seq databases on flow experiments confirmed an increase of CIRP and RBM3 expression following exposure to shear stress in renal cell lines. In conclusion, we found that CSPs are integral components of the centrosome and that they participate in cold and shear stress sensing.

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