Fabbri L, Bost F, Mazure NM
Int J Mol Sci 2019 Mar;20(6)
The primary cilium is a solitary, nonmotile and transitory appendage that is present in virtually all mammalian cells. Our knowledge of its ultrastructure and function is the result of more than fifty years of research that has dramatically changed our perspectives on the primary cilium. The mutual regulation between ciliogenesis and the cell cycle is now well-recognized, as well as the function of the primary cilium as a cellular « antenna » for perceiving external stimuli, such as light, odorants, and fluids. By displaying receptors and signaling molecules, the primary cilium is also a key coordinator of signaling pathways that converts extracellular cues into cellular responses. Given its critical tasks, any defects in primary cilium formation or function lead to a wide spectrum of diseases collectively called « ciliopathies ». An emerging role of primary cilium is in the regulation of cancer development. In this review, we seek to describe the current knowledge about the influence of the primary cilium in cancer progression, with a focus on some of the events that cancers need to face to sustain survival and growth in hypoxic microenvironment: the cancer hallmarks.