Elucidating the function of primary cilia by conditional gene inactivation

Thomas Hiesberger, Peter Igarashi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: This review discusses recent experimental approaches to determine the function of primary cilia by conditional inactivation of genes crucial for cilia formation. Recent findings: A functional role in the sensing of fluid flow was recently assigned to the primary cilia. This discovery shed light onto how cells sense dynamic fluid movements. Conditional inactivation of primary cilia formation in later ontogenic stages demonstrated the crucial role renal primary cilia play in the control of cell proliferation. Summary: Primary cilia can act as flow sensors, transmitting signals by means of calcium influx into the cells. Structures based on primary cilia are also crucial for the function of photoreceptor cells and it can be expected that additional functions of these organelles will be determined in the future. An important experimental approach to elucidate the involvement of primary cilia in other physiological processes is to specifically inactivate genes crucial for formation of primary cilia. Morphological and physiological changes induced by the loss of primary cilia will help determine additional roles primary cilia play in physiology and organ development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-377
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in nephrology and hypertension
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005


  • Cre recombinase
  • Kinesin-II
  • Primary cilia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Nephrology


Dive into the research topics of 'Elucidating the function of primary cilia by conditional gene inactivation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this