Essential to development, primary cilia are microtubule-based cellular organelles that protrude from the surface of cells. Acting as cellular antenna, primary cilia play central roles in transducing or regulating several signaling pathways, including Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and Wnt signaling. Defects in primary cilia contribute to a group of syndromic disorders known as "ciliopathies" and can adversely affect development of the brain and other essential organs, including the kidneys, eyes, and liver. The molecular mechanisms of how defective primary cilia contribute to neurological defects, however, remain poorly understood. In this mini review, we summarize recent advances in understanding of the interactions between primary cilia and signaling pathways essential to cellular homeostasis and brain development.
Keywords: FMCD; MTOR; Wnt; autophagy; ciliopathy; primary cilia.