Primary cilia in tumor biology: The primary cilium as a therapeutic target in cholangiocarcinoma

Sergio A. Gradilone, María J. Lorenzo Pisarello, Nicholas F. LaRusso

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Cilia are microtubule-based organelles, which are ubiquitously expressed in epithelial cells. Cholangiocytes, the epithelial cells lining the biliary tree, have primary cilia extending from their apical plasma membrane into the ductal lumen, where the cilia function as multisensory organelles transducing environmental cues into the cell interior. The decrease or loss of primary cilia has been described in several malignancies, including cholangiocarcinoma, suggesting that the loss of cilia is a common occurrence in neoplastic transformation. In this short review, we describe the expression of cilia in several cancers, explore the mechanisms and consequences of ciliary loss, and discuss the potential use of the primary cilia as therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-963
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Bentham Science Publishers.


  • Bile duct cancer
  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Cholangiocyte
  • Ciliotherapy
  • HDAC6
  • Primary cilia


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