Autophagy and primary cilia: dual interplay

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2016 Apr;39:1-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Jan 27.


Primary cilia are microtubule-based organelles for sensing of the extracellular milieu and transducing this information into the cell through a variety of molecular signaling pathways. Functioning of the primary cilium has been recently connected to autophagy, a pathway for degradation of cellular components in lysosomes. Autophagy regulates the length of the cilia by removing proteins required for ciliogenesis, a phenomenon that is molecularly different if performed by basal autophagy or when autophagy is induced in response to various stressors. Here we review the current knowledge about the dual interaction between autophagy and ciliogenesis, and discuss the potential role that deregulated ciliary autophagy could have in pathologies with alterations in autophagy and ciliogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy*
  • Cilia / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / metabolism