Primary cilia are microtubule-based sensory organelles whose assembly and function rely on the conserved bidirectional intraflagellar transport (IFT) system, which is powered by anterograde kinesin-2 and retrograde cytoplasmic dynein-2 motors. Nematodes additionally employ a cell-type-specific kinesin-3 motor, KLP-6, which moves within cilia independently of IFT and regulates ciliary content and function. Here, we provide evidence that a KLP-6 homolog, KIF13B, undergoes bursts of bidirectional movement within primary cilia of cultured immortalized human retinal pigment epithelial (hTERT-RPE1) cells. Anterograde and retrograde intraciliary velocities of KIF13B were similar to those of IFT (as assayed using IFT172–eGFP), but intraciliary movement of KIF13B required its own motor domain and appeared to be cell-type specific. Our work provides the first demonstration of motor-driven, intraciliary movement by a vertebrate kinesin other than kinesin-2 motors.

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