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.
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