Document Type


Publication Date



The majority of different cell types in the human body have a cilium, a thin rod-like structure of uniquely arranged microtubules that are encapsulated by the surface plasma membrane. The cilium originates from a basal body, a mature centriole that has migrated and docked to the cell surface. The non-motile cilia are microtubule-based organelles that are generally considered sensory structures. The purpose of this review is to discuss the practicality of the ciliary hypothesis as a unifying concept for polycystic kidney disease and to review current literature in the field of cilium biology, as it relates to mechanosensation and planar cell polarity. The polycystins and fibrocystin localization at the cilium and other subcellular localizations are discussed, followed by a hypothetical model for the cilium's role in mechanosensing, planar cell polarity, and cystogenesis.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Frontiers in Bioscience, volume 13, 2008 following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at DOI: 10.2741/3016.


Frontiers in Bioscience



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.