The Primary Cilia Are On Virtually All Cells In Body

Every cell consisting of many functional organs; like cilia and cell wall. As primary cilia are on virtually all cells in the body but for a long time; they were considering to be a non-functional vestigial part of the cell. To add to their mystery, they are not present all the time. They project from the centrosome the part of the cell that pulls it apart during division; and so only appear at certain stages of the cell cycle.

As lungs are lining with hair like projections called motile cilia. These are the tiny microtubule structures that appear on the surface of some cells or tissues. They can be found lining your nose and respiratory tract too, and along the fallopian tubes and vas deferens in the female and male reproductive tracts. They move from side to side to sweep away any micro-organisms, fluids, and dead cells in the respiratory system, and to help transport the sperm and egg in the reproductive system.

Function of primary cilia

The little structures were important came with the realization that disruption to either their formation or function could result in genetic conditions known as ciliopathies. There are around 20 different ciliopathies, and they affect about one in every 1,000 people. These are often disabling and life-threatening conditions, affecting multiple organ systems.

They can cause blindness, deafness, chronic respiratory infections, kidney disease, heart disease, infertility, obesity, diabetes and more. Symptoms and severity vary widely, making it hard to classify and diagnose these disorders. So how can malfunction of a little organelle; which was originally thought to be useless result in such a wide variety of devastating symptoms. Well, it is now known that not only do cilia look like little antennas, they act like them too.

Detect messenger signals

But the cilia is packing full of proteins that detect messenger signals from other cells; or the surrounding environment. These signals are then transmitting into the cell’s nucleus to activate a response for example, these responses are important for the regulation of several essential signaling pathways. When this was realizing; researchers began to ask whether changes in the structure or function of cilia; changes in protein levels associated with cilia; or movement of these proteins to a different part of the cell could occur due to or potentially drive other conditions.

However, loss of cilia does not have the same effect in all cancers. In one type of pancreatic cancer, the presence not absence of cilia correlates with increased metastasis and decreased patient survival. Even within the same cancer the picture is unclear. Medulloblastomas are the most common childhood brain tumor. Their development can be driving by one of the signaling pathways regulating by the cilia; the hedgehog signaling pathway.