The primary cilium as a cellular receiver: organizing ciliary GPCR signaling

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2016 Apr;39:84-92. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Feb 27.


The primary cilium is an antenna-like cellular protrusion mediating sensory and neuroendocrine signaling. Its localization within tissue architecture and a growing list of cilia-localized receptors, in particular G-protein-coupled receptors, determine a host of crucial physiologies, which are disrupted in human ciliopathies. Here, we discuss recent advances in the identification and characterization of ciliary signaling components and pathways. Recent studies have highlighted the unique signaling environment of the primary cilium and we are just beginning to understand how this design allows for highly amplified and regulated signaling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cilia / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled