Developmental and regenerative paradigms of cilia regulated hedgehog signaling

Daniel Kopinke, Alessandra M. Norris, Saikat Mukhopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Primary cilia are immotile appendages that have evolved to receive and interpret a variety of different extracellular cues. Cilia play crucial roles in intercellular communication during development and defects in cilia affect multiple tissues accounting for a heterogeneous group of human diseases called ciliopathies. The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is one of these cues and displays a unique and symbiotic relationship with cilia. Not only does Hh signaling require cilia for its function but the majority of the Hh signaling machinery is physically located within the cilium-centrosome complex. More specifically, cilia are required for both repressing and activating Hh signaling by modifying bifunctional Gli transcription factors into repressors or activators. Defects in balancing, interpreting or establishing these repressor/activator gradients in Hh signaling either require cilia or phenocopy disruption of cilia. Here, we will summarize the current knowledge on how spatiotemporal control of the molecular machinery of the cilium allows for a tight control of basal repression and activation states of the Hh pathway. We will then discuss several paradigms on how cilia influence Hh pathway activity in tissue morphogenesis during development. Last, we will touch on how cilia and Hh signaling are being reactivated and repurposed during adult tissue regeneration. More specifically, we will focus on mesenchymal stem cells within the connective tissue and discuss the similarities and differences of how cilia and ciliary Hh signaling control the formation of fibrotic scar and adipose tissue during fatty fibrosis of several tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Cilia
  • Fatty fibrosis
  • Hedgehog
  • Morphogen
  • Regeneration
  • Repressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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