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The Primary Cilium as the Cell's Antenna: Signaling at a Sensory Organelle

This article discusses emerging evidence showing that primary cilia are key participants in intercellular signaling. Almost every vertebrate cell has a specialized cell surface projection called a primary cilium. Although these structures were first described more than a century ago, the full scope of their functions remains poorly understood. Here, we review emerging evidence that in addition to their well-established roles in sight, smell, and mechanosensation, primary cilia are key participants in intercellular signaling. This new appreciation of primary cilia as cellular antennae that sense a wide variety of signals could help explain why ciliary defects underlie such a wide range of human disorders, including retinal degeneration, polycystic kidney disease, Bardet-Biedl syndrome, and neural tube defects.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Illustration
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright


Authors and Editors: Veena Singla of Program in Developmental and Stem Cell Biology, University of California, Jeremy Reiter of and Diabetes Center, University of California
Publisher: AAAS
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No

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American Association for the Advancement of Science


     
   

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