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The cilium in lights: new views of an ancient organelle

Iain A Drummond

Author affiliations

Nephrology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, 149 13th Street, Rm 149-8000, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA

Citation and License

BMC Biology 2013, 11:74  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-74

Published: 3 July 2013


Nearly all cells have cilia, microtubule based projections from the apical cell surface, and nearly all cells use them in essential and unique ways. How mammalian cilia function in vivo as mechanosensors, signal transducers, or in fluid propulsion has been difficult to study due to lack of tools for live imaging of cilia. A new transgenic mouse that enables tissue-specific GFP labeling of cilia creates new opportunities for using live imaging to understand cilium function and to better characterize the many genetic models of ciliopathies.

See research article: webcite