Science in China Series C: Life Sciences

, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 479–486 | Cite as

Cilia and ciliopathies: From Chlamydomonas and beyond

  • JunMin PanEmail author


The biological function of motile cilia/flagella has long been recognized. The non-motile primary cilium, once regarded as a vestigial organelle, however, has been found recently to play unexpected roles in mammalian physiology and development. Defects in cilia have profound impact on human health. Diseases related to cilia, collectively called ciliopathies include male infertility, primary cilia dyskinesia, renal cyst formation, blindness, polydactyly, obesity, hypertension, and even mental retardation. Our current understanding of cilia and ciliopathies has been fueled by basic research employing various model organisms including Chlamydomonas, a unicellular green alga. This review article provides a general introduction to the cell biology of cilia and an overview of various cilia-related diseases.


Chlamydomonas cilia flagellla human disease ciliopathy 


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© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences and BiotechnologyTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina

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